The population of Sierra Leone is almost entirely made up of 13 native African tribes. The major religion is animism, but there are also Christians and Muslim citizens. The constitutional language of Sierra Leone is English, though Mende (the language of the Amistad Africans), Temne, and Creole are also used.
The primary economic resource of Sierra Leone is its large diamond deposits. Crops include cocoa and coffee.
Since independence, Sierra Leone has been politically troubled. After seventeen years of political turmoil, it was reorganized as a one-party state in 1978. In 1985, President Siaka Stevens resigned, naming Gen. Joseph Momoh the new president.
Momoh agreed to establish a multi-party democracy, and a new Constitution was ratified in 1991. However, before elections could be held, Major Valentin Strasser ousted Momoh in a military coup. His aide, Maada Bio ousted Strasser shortly thereafter.
In 1996, elections finally occurred. On March 29, 1996, President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah took office. But in May 1997, he fled the country after another coup.