U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed an American to be the chief prosecutor of Sierra Leone's special court.

The Special Court said Thursday that Stephen Rapp will replace Desmond de Silva who left the court earlier this year.

Rapp currently serves as the chief prosecutor at the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. In this position, Rapp supervised the prosecution of military, government and political leaders responsible for the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Rapp has also been a U.S. attorney, a newspaper editor, and a legislator in the midwestern U.S. state of Iowa.

The Special Court for Sierra Leone was set up by the government and the United Nations to try those who bear the greatest responsibility for atrocities committed during Sierra Leone's civil war.

The court currently has 10 indictees in custody.