IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


19th December, 2023 Geography


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  • Following a failed coup attempt, Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa, is caught between an economic downturn and political unrest.

About Sierra Leone

  • Sierra Leone is located between Liberia and Guinea, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean.
  • The country is situated on the southwest coast of West Africa.
  • Capital:
  • Languages: English, Krio.
  • Mount Bintumani (also known as Loma Mansa) is the highest peak in Sierra Leone.
  • A tropical climate is found in Sierra Leone.
  • Sierra Leone’s terrain is characterized by mountains in the eastern region, an upland plateau, a wooded hill country, and a coastal belt of mangrove swamps.
  • Sierra Leone is one of the members of the International Solar Alliance.
  • India was among the first countries to contribute to the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) with the deployment of 4000 strong Indian Military contingent.

More about the News

  • Since Sierra Leone is a part of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the organisation and its member nations will intervene to uphold constitutional order in the event that a security issue should occur in the future.

What Are the Elements Affecting Sierra Leone's Unrest?

  • Political instability: Political turmoil was brought on by the President's re-election in June 2023. The other side disputed the outcome, claiming that it was manipulated.
  • There was a legislative boycott until October 2023 as a result of opposition contestation.
  • Economic instability: The issue is exacerbated by a high cost of living and extreme poverty.
  • As a result of the President's worsening economic policies, there were protests and calls for his resignation.
  • Police Aggression: Resentment has been stoked by the government's use of force, including live gunfire, to quell protests and jail riots.

Other Recent Upheavals in Africa

  • Coup in Niger (2023).
  • Crisis in Sudan (2023 and 2021).
  • Burkina Faso Coup (2022).
  • Military Coup in Mali (2021, 2020).

About Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

  • The ECOWAS, also known as CEDEAO in French, is a regional intergovernmental organisation that was founded in 1975 by the Lagos Treaty with the goal of fostering economic integration and collaboration among West African countries.
  • Headquarter: Nigeria's Abuja.
  • Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Togo are the 15 member states that make up ECOWAS.
  • It seeks to accomplish regional collaboration across sectors, free movement of people and products, and economic integration.
  • It also aims to create a region without borders run on democratic principles and tackle security issues by working together to resolve conflicts.


What are the factors which led to political instability in many poor West African countries?