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Seven Charged With War Crimes In Sierra Leone - 2003-03-10


In Sierra Leone, seven people have been indicted for war crimes, including a government minister and a former rebel leader. Around midday Monday, police stormed the offices of the minister of internal affairs, Sam Hinga Norman, read him his rights, and arrested him. Chief Norman was head of the civil defense forces, or Kamajors.

Police raids also occurred at the offices of the former rebel group, the revolutionary United Front, or RUF. The interim RUF leader, Issa Sesay, and his top commander, Morris Kallon, were arrested. The prosecutor for Sierra Leone’s Special Court, David Crane, announced that indictments were also handed down against detained RUF leader Foday Sankoh and his former strongman, Sam Bockarie. It is rumored that Bockarie, known as Mosquito, is fighting alongside Liberian government forces against rebels.

Fugitive junta leader Johnny Paul Karoma, and one of his commanders, Alex Tamba Brima, were also charged with war crimes.

The charges include war crimes, crimes against humanity, murder, rape, extermination, acts of terror, enslavement, looting and burning, conscription of children into an armed force and attacks on UN peacekeepers and humanitarian workers.

English to Africa reporter Kelvin Lewis has details from Freetown. Click the above links to download or listen to his report.

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