Stories written by Lansana Fofana

Ebola Overshadows Fight Against HIV/AIDS in Sierra Leone

The outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone has dwarfed the campaign against HIV/AIDS, to the extent that patients no longer go to hospitals and treatment centres out of fear of contracting the Ebola virus.

Ebola Outbreak Affects Key Development Areas in Sierra Leone

The outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone has badly affected the West African country’s move towards meeting key development goals. 

Hopes of Controlling Sierra Leone’s Ebola Outbreak Remain Grim

The fight against the deadly Ebola epidemic ravaging West Africa seems to be hanging in the balance as Sierra Leone’s Minister of Health and Sanitation Dr Abubakar Fofana told IPS that the government is overwhelmed by the outbreak.

SIERRA LEONE: Anti-Corruption Campaign Nabs Top Officials

The crusade against corruption seems to be gathering momentum in this West African country, with the arrest and prosecution of senior government officials, including cabinet ministers.

SIERRA LEONE: No Easy Road to Reconciliation

Former child soldier Komba Gbondo maimed and killed many people from his hometown, and the 25-year-old is still too terrified to return.

EDUCATION-SIERRA LEONE: Government Ignores Demands for Additional Teachers

Ismail Conteh has been teaching for the past year-and-a-half at a primary school in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown – without receiving a single cent. He is one of hundreds of teachers recruited by schools to match the ever-growing number of pupils.

Washing diamonds in the Sandoh chiefdom in Kono district, Sierra Leone.  Credit: Anna Jefferys/IRIN

SIERRA LEONE: Mining Bill Queried

Sierra Leone’s parliament has come under serious scrutiny by opposition legislators, civil society and members of the public for ‘breaching procedures’ and ‘undermining the constitution’.

Unemployed youths in Sierra Leone sometimes find work pushing wooden carts for merchants. Credit: Ansu Konneh/IRIN

SIERRA LEONE: Police Plan to Use Youth Against Crime Sparks Row

A new police force plan to recruit youths in each community, to help fight the country-wide spate of armed robbery, has provoked controversy and sparked a nationwide debate.

President Ernest Bai Koroma's administration has been heavily criticised.   Credit: Mohamed Fofanah/IPS

CORRUPTION-SIERRA LEONE: President Challenged on Corruption

The country’s president has failed to meet his electoral commitment of running a transparent and accountable government, free of tribalism and regionalism, opposition parties say.

SIERRA LEONE: Claims Presidency Interferes with Judiciary

It may be seven years after the country’s civil war, but Sierra Leone is still battling to obtain an independent judiciary.

SIERRA LEONE: Banned Opposition Radio Station Goes to Court

Sierra Leone's largest opposition party has taken the country's media monitoring body to court for banning its radio station.

EDUCATION-SIERRA LEONE: Schools in Crisis as Thousands of Teachers go Unpaid

Government’s refusal to pay the salaries of thousands teachers, while looking to recruit thousands more, has plunged the schooling system into crisis.

Turning down the volume: rival radio stations have been blamed for fanning political tensions with inflammatory broadcasts. Credit:  Tugela Ridley/IRIN

SIERRA LEONE: Radio Stations Banned

Two Sierra Leonean radio stations have been stripped of their licences. The national regulatory body, the Independent Media Commission (IMC), says the stations failed to comply with the country's media code.

SIERRA LEONE: Knuckling Down To Heal Political Wounds

Incitement and violent clashes continue to shackle the government of Sierra Leone that took office two years ago. The elections were marred by reports of assassination attempts; violent confrontations between party militants; burning and looting; and widespread intimidation of voters.

Mass poverty and unemployment are major factors pushing children and the youth to the mines. Credit:  USAID

RIGHTS-SIERRA LEONE: Child Miners: Legacy of Conflict

Since the end of the civil war seven years ago, the Sierra Leonean authorities and child welfare agencies have been battling to remove children from the diamond-mining fields, a trend which began at the height of the conflict, when children were abducted by rebel forces and coerced to work in the mines.

Issa Sesay (centre) and two co-accused, Moinina Fofana and Allieu Kondewa, on trial at the Sierra Leone Special Court. Credit:  John Fornah/World Bank

RIGHTS-SIERRA LEONE: Special Court Wraps Up, But Has Justice Been Done?

On Apr. 8, the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone passed sentences on three former commanders of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), bringing to an end the trials of militia leaders deemed responsible for atrocities committed during the country's bloody civil war, fought from 1991 to 2002.

SIERRA LEONE: Radio Stations Banned for Inciting Violence

Sierra Leone's vice president, Samuel Sam-Sumana, on Mar. 13 ordered an indefinite ban on radio stations owned by the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) and its main rival, the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP).

AFRICA: Socialists Call For Reparations

The first West African conference of the African Socialist International has ended in Freetown, with delegates calling for reparations to be paid to Africans for 400 years of slavery.


Each morning, Mariama Kamara and her two teenaged sons walk to Freetown’s main rubbish dump. Their mission: to dig through the mounds of garbage in search of scrap metal.

Zainab Bangura: "A woman leading this country? Yes, I still believe in it. Only time will tell." Credit:  Lansana Fofana/IPS

POLITICS-SIERRA LEONE: The Ups And Downs Of Zainab Bangura

Her reputation as a fiery orator is enhanced whenever she takes the podium, her punch softened by her broad smiles and gorgeous attires in West African style.

Assembly at a Freetown school: widespread fraud deprives students like these of vital resources. Credit:  Lansana Fofana/IPS

SIERRA LEONE: Ghost Schools, Phantom Progress On Education

Magnus Kamara is a school inspector with a difference. He has been hired to find schools that don't exist.

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