Freetown (Sierra Leone), April 28: Do you know that Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa, had named Bengali as an official language in 2002 to recognise the contributions made by Bangladeshi peacekeepers in tackling its internal war.
Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, the country's late president had made the announcement after inaugurating a 54-kilometre road which was constructed by the Bangladeshi peacekeepers.
Sierra Leone's 11-year-old civil war (1991-2002) saw the world's largest peacekeeping force number almost 17,000 personnel from 31 countrues. Bangladesh had the most number of troops---5,300---more than any other country and they served under the UN flag.
English is the chief official language of Sierra Leone. However, vernacular languages are also used widely in the country with the English-based Creole serving as the lingua franca.
Sierra Leone is also home to a small but significant South and West Asian communities.