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Sierra Leone


Civil war prevailed during the 1990s. The two parties (8,000 and 3,000 men, respectively) have been collaborating since May 1997, when a West African Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) Economic Community of West Africa came into being. This included, for example, Nigeria with 3,000 men and Guinea with 800 men. In October 1999, the UN was given a peacekeeping force in place (United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone, UNAMSIL). The war was declared ended in 2002 after all the irregular forces were disarmed.

Military of Sierra Leone

The defense includes (2008) 10,500 people trained by UK staff and supervised by the United Nations (United Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone, UNIOSIL) with observers from eleven countries. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that SLE stands for Sierra Leone.

Defense costs increased in 1985-2006 from 1.1% to 1.7% of GDP. Sierra Leone participates in UN peacekeeping operations with observers in two countries.

Sierra Leone's defense overview

The combined forces for Sierra Leone's armed forces are 8500 active personnel (2018, IISS), all in the Army.


The army has four armored personnel vehicles and two helicopters. In addition, the Army has medium-heavy artillery and anti-aircraft artillery. A sea component has about 200 personnel and two patrol vessels.

International operations

Sierra Leone participated with observers and a small number of personnel in 2018 in UN operations in Lebanon (UNIFIL), in Mali (MINUSMA), in Somalia (UNSOM), and in Sudan (UNAMID and UNISFA).

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