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Sierra Leone

Yearbook 1997

Sierra Leone. According to Countryaah, the military conducted a coup in late May. Parliament dissolved and then-President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah fled to neighboring Guinea. The coup leader Johnny Paul Koroma announced the same day in the state-controlled radio that he had occupied the post of head of state and head of government. A few days later, Koroma announced that he had repealed the constitution and that he would reinstate "real" democracy in the country.

1997 Sierra Leone

The UN and many countries condemned the coup. Neighboring Nigeria sent troops to Sierra Leone in a failed attempt to reinstate the overthrowing president and his government. No country recognized the junta during the year.

In June, Koroma announced his intention to form a revolutionary council, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, AFRC, which also included representatives of the RUF, Revolutionary United Front.

Intensive international pressure was under way during the year to give up the military junta. A Commonwealth ministerial committee decided in July to exclude Sierra Leone from the organization until the democratically elected government was re-elected.

The UN Security Council imposed sanctions on the country in mid-October. The UN resolution urged Koroma to relinquish power, cease all acts of violence, and ensure that humanitarian aid reached those in need. Hans Dahlgren, Sweden's UN ambassador, was appointed to lead the committee which had the task of monitoring compliance with the sanctions.

From a meeting in Guinea at the end of October - where Foreign ministers from the West African organization ECOWAS and representatives of the new government in Sierra Leone participated - announced that the military junta signed a peace plan. According to the six points of the agreement, a ceasefire would take place immediately and a disarmament of the military forces would be implemented. Juntan also agreed to reinstate the overthrown president on April 22, 1998. According to the agreement, he will then lead a broadly composed unity government.

Pleasure scenes erupted in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown when news of the peace plan was announced. However, food shortages and homelessness were a major problem in the country. The UN estimated that more than 200,000 people were in urgent need of food aid because of the fighting in the country.

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