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/ 16 November 2007

S Leone leader promises ‘zero tolerance’ on graft

Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma promised ”zero tolerance” on Thursday for corruption in his country after a leaked government report said rampant official graft had swallowed up donor funds. Speaking at his formal inauguration in Freetown, the 54-year-old former insurance executive called for a change of attitude in the West African state.

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/ 10 October 2007

Beaches may wash away Sierra Leone’s war image

Boboh village used to do a roaring trade in the Pa Gbana cocktail, a mix of fermented local grasses, coconut and lime favoured by tourists to wash down freshly-cooked lobster. Nowadays there is little demand for the drink, named after the village’s oldest resident: the only foreigners on Boboh’s pristine beaches, south of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, are development workers taking time out.

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/ 25 September 2007

Sierra Leone arrests Guinean ‘pirates’

Sierra Leone arrested eight Guineans, including military personnel and fisheries inspectors, whom it accused of carrying out a pirate attack on two locally licensed fishing vessels, officials said on Monday. But Guinean authorities rejected the piracy charge, saying the men were on a legitimate fisheries protection patrol.

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/ 21 September 2007

New Sierra Leone leader to boost regional ties

Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma on Friday embarked on his first foreign trip since taking office this week, heading to neighbouring Guinea and Liberia to promote ties damaged by more than a decade of war. The former insurance executive was sworn in on Monday within hours of being declared winner of a run-off election.

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/ 17 September 2007

Koroma wins tense Sierra Leone poll

Sierra Leone opposition leader Ernest Bai Koroma won the West African country’s presidential election after a tense run-off vote marred by some cases of fraud, the National Electoral Commission said on Monday. Koroma, a 53-year-old candidate of the opposition All People’s Congress, was declared the winner with 54,6% of valid votes.

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/ 14 September 2007

Sierra Leone presidential frontrunner vows war on graft

Sierra Leone opposition leader Ernest Bai Koroma, who looks set to win the West African country’s presidential election, says he will wage an implacable war on corruption and work to revive the war-scarred economy. With just over three-quarters of the votes counted from last week’s run-off poll, Koroma, of the All People’s Congress, has a commanding lead with 60%.

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/ 11 September 2007

Sierra Leone poll rivals squabble over results

Opposition leader Ernest Bai Koroma said he had won Sierra Leone’s presidential election but the ruling party accused him of trying to ”steal” the poll as more results were due on Tuesday from the tense weekend vote. Partial official results from just over a fifth of polling stations showed Koroma, of the All People’s Congress party, leading with 64%.

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/ 8 September 2007

S Leone chooses president under shadow of violence

Voting began calmly in Sierra Leone on Saturday despite a turbulent campaign for a presidential runoff vote meant to consolidate peace after a civil war. Rival groups of former combatants have clashed with guns and machetes in the former British colony since the first round on August 11 in which opposition candidate Ernest Bai Koroma of the All People’s Congress led with 44%.

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/ 5 September 2007

Sierra Leone calms media ahead of high-stakes poll

Sierra Leone media authorities are trying to tone down party political broadcasts alleging executions and machete attacks to try to defuse tensions ahead of a presidential run-off vote on Saturday. The poll, the culmination of the first elections since United Nations peacekeepers left, pits opposition leader Ernest Bai Koroma against Vice-President Solomon Berewa.

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/ 3 September 2007

S Leone poll contenders agree non-violence pact

Sierra Leone’s rival presidential contenders will lead supporters in a joint peace march to cement a pact against violence following clashes ahead of a run-off vote, their parties said on Monday. Opposition frontrunner Ernest Bai Koroma and his ruling party rival, Vice-President Solomon Berewa, agreed the deal in talks on Sunday.

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/ 30 August 2007

Fears of violence cloud Sierra Leone run-off campaign

Mustapha Sesay and Femi Rashid, former foes in Sierra Leone’s civil war, spar with good humoured jibes as they work together in a motorcycle taxi association that brings together ex-combatants. ”I shoot you like a chicken,” laughs ex-rebel child soldier Sesay. ”You don’t know how to fight,” retorts Rashid, once a traditional Kamajor hunter who battled the rebels.