Ahmad Tejan Kabbah

Ahmad Tejan Kabbah

Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah (born February 16, 1932) served as President of Sierra Leone from 1996 to 1997 and again from 1998 to 2007. Kabbah worked for the United Nations Development Programme and returned to Sierra Leone in 1992. He was elected president of Sierra Leone in the 1996 Sierra Leone presidential election with 59% of the vote defeating his closest rival John Karefa-Smart of the United National People's Party (UNPP) who had 40% in the runoff vote. In his inauguration specch in Freetown, Kabbah promised to end the civil war, which he indeed achieved.

Most of Kabbah's time in office was influenced by the civil war with the Revolutionary United Front, led by Foday Sankoh, which involved him being temporarily ousted by the military Armed Forces Revolutionary Council from May 1997 to March 1998. He was soon returned to power after a military intervention by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), lead by Nigeria. Another phase of the civil war led to United Nations and British involvement in the country in 2000. The civil war was officially declared over in early 2002 by Kabbah, and he went on to win his final five years term in office in the presidential election later that year with 70.1% of the vote, defeating his closest rival Ernest Bai Koroma of the All People's Congress (APC), who won about 19% of the vote.

Kabbah is the first, and to date, the only Muslim head of state of Sierra Leone. He is also the first, and to date, the only Sierra Leonean head of state from the Mandingo ethnic group.

Read more about Ahmad Tejan Kabbah:  Career, Political Career in Sierra Leone, Saved By Nigeria and Britain, 2002 Presidential Election, Political Goals and Views, End of Term and Post-presidency, Personal Life, Honors

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