Sierra Leone has maintained cordial relations with the West, in particular with the United Kingdom. It also maintains diplomatic relations with the Republics of the former Soviet Union as well as with China. Former President Stevens' government had sought closer relations with West African countries under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The present government is continuing this effort.
Sierra Leone is a member of the United Nations and its specialized agencies, the Commonwealth, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Development Bank (AFDB), the Mano River Union (MRU), the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
large UN peacekeeping presence ended civil war but rebel gang fighting, ethnic rivalries, illegal diamond trading, corruption, and refugees spill over into neighboring states beset with their own civil disorder, refugees, and violence