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Sierra Leone

Yearbook 2012

Sierra Leone. In April, the Special Court of Sierra Leone sentenced the warlord and former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, to several cases of war crimes during the civil war in Sierra Leone 1991–2002. One month later, the sentence against him was announced to 50 years in prison for, among other crimes, against humanity.

2012 Sierra Leone

According to countryaah, the Special Court for Sierra Leone was established in 2002 through an agreement between the country's government and the UN, with the mission to prosecute and convict persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law and national law in connection with the civil war.

In November, presidential and parliamentary elections were held in the country. It was the first election since the Civil War that Sierra Leone organized on its own without UN supervision. Before the election, clashes occurred in the capital Freetown between supporters of the two largest parties, the General People's Congress (APC) and the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP). The election day was still relatively calm and turnout was high, just over 87%. In addition to a large number of domestic observers, foreign observers from both the EU and the African Union (AU) were also present to check that the election was successful.

A week after the election, it was clear that the incumbent President, Ernest Bai Koroma, received the most votes and therefore has to stay for another term. Koroma won by almost 59% of the vote against opposition leader Julius Maada Bio, who got 38%. In the parliamentary elections, Koroma's APC became the largest party with 67 seats in parliament. SLPP ended up in second place with 42 places. The EU subsequently judged that the elections were relatively fair, but the Union observers still criticized the state media favoring the APC in its pre-election reporting and that the party used state money in its election campaign.

During the year, the water-borne disease spread to cholera in several parts of the country and at the end of the year more than 200 people were reported to have fallen victim to the disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost half of Sierra Leone's population do not have access to clean drinking water. Particularly flawed are the living conditions in the country's slums, where diseases such as cholera risk spreading rapidly. In the UN list of development levels in the countries of the world in 2011, Sierra Leone ranked 182 out of 187.

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