Ex-RUF leaders convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity
Three former leaders of Sierra Leone's notoriously brutal Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebel group were convicted Wednesday of war crimes and crimes against humanity, dpa reported.
Issa Hassan Sesay and Morris Kallon were convicted on 16 of 18 counts, and Augustine Gbao was convicted on 14 counts at the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone. Sentencing was due at a later date.
Charges had included murder, rape, mutilation (and the recruitment of child soldiers during the bloody 10-year civil war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s which claimed some 120,000 lives and left thousands mutilated and traumatized. The three went on trial in 2004.
The special court was established by the government of Sierra Leone and the UN to try war crimes as of 1996. It is also trying former Liberian president Charles Taylor for war crimes.
His case is being heard in The Hague for security reasons. Taylor and RUF founder and leader Foday Sankoh were allies in the conflict. Sankoh died of a stroke in custody in 2003 before he could be tried.