S Leone opposition names candidate

2011-08-01 12:54

Freetown - Sierra Leone's main opposition party has named retired Brigadier General Julius Maada Bio as its candidate for presidential elections next year.

The Sierra Leone People's Party made the announcement on Monday after a three-day conference. Bio will contest incumbent President Ernest Bai Koroma in next year's vote.

Bio ruled the West African country for three months in 1996 after a military junta seized power in a coup.

Sierra Leone became infamous for its 1991-2002 civil war depicted in the film "Blood Diamond". Tens of thousands were killed, and militia hacked off the limbs, noses and lips of their victims.

Sierra Leone's current leader was elected in 2007 in the first presidential vote after the withdrawal of the UN peacekeepers.