|Sierra Leone (sɪˈɛərə lɪˈəʊnɪ, lɪˈəʊn)|
|a republic in W Africa, on the Atlantic: became a British colony in 1808 and gained independence (within the Commonwealth) in 1961; declared a republic in 1971; became a one-party state in 1978; multiparty democracy restored in 1991 but military rule was imposed following a coup in 1992, which led to civil unrest; consists of coastal swamps rising to a plateau in the east. Official language: English. Religion: Muslim majority and animist. Currency: leone. Capital: Freetown. Pop: 5 169 000 (2004 est). Area: 71 740 sq km (27 699 sq miles)|
Note: After the American Revolutionary War, attempts were made to settle freed slaves in Sierra Leone. Formerly a British protectorate, Sierra Leone became independent in 1961.