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Sierra Leone Court Convicts Two for War Crimes


A court in Sierra Leone has convicted two former militia leaders of war crimes committed during the country's civil war.

Allieu Kondewa and Moinina Fofana had been indicted on eight counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for their leadership of a pro-government militia called the Civil Defense Forces.

The court Thursday convicted them on charges of murder, cruel treatment, and pillaging. Kondewa was also convicted of recruiting child soldiers. The judges acquitted the two men of several other charges.

Sentencing will take place at a future date.

The Special Court for Sierra Leone accused the CDF militia of killing and mutilating civilians, and looting and destroying property in an effort to terrorize the population.

Another defendant in the case, former interior minister Sam Hinga Norman, died earlier this year while being treated at a hospital in Senegal.

The U.N.-backed court was set up to try some of those deemed most responsible for atrocities during the 11-year war, which ended in 2002.

The court is also trying former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who is accused of supporting rebels in the bloody conflict. That trial is taking place at The Hague, in the Netherlands, because of fears that Taylor's presence in Sierra Leone could spark unrest both in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.