25 Apr. 2012
KONO, Sierra Leone
A forest burns in eastern Sierra Leone April 23, 2012. Logging is illegal in Sierra Leone, but remains the leading cause of environmental degradation, according to the European Union. Population pressure, common slash and burn methods and illegal logging mean the country's bountiful forests could disappear by 2018, according to the Forestry Ministry. Sierra Leone's 11-year conflict from 1991-2002 left over 50,000 dead and became a byword for gratuitous violence, especially the amputation of limbs. A decade later, the West African nation is peaceful, but among the world's poorest. It is due to hold elections in November. Picture taken April 23, 2012. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly (SIERRA LEONE - Tags: ENVIRONMENT CRIME LAW POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)
ATTENTION EDITORS PICTURE 19 OF 30 FOR PACKAGE 'SIERRA LEONE AFTER CHARLES TAYLOR'