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Ex-Sierra Leone Rebel Leader to Be Tried

A former rebel leader whose followers launched Sierra Leone’s decade of terror will be tried at the first session of the nation’s new international war crimes tribunal this weekend, court officials said Thursday. Foday Sankoh’s Revolutionary United Front followers have been accused of hacking off civilians’ arms and legs with machetes to instill fear in opponents. The trial starts Saturday. Sankoh is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity, court spokesman David Hecht said. Three others will face similar charges. The court handed down its first seven indictments — including Sankoh’s — on Monday, which included charges of murder, rape, enslavement, looting and forcing children to fight with rebels. Two of those indicted are still at large, while another — the country’s recently arrested Internal Affairs Minister Samuel Hinga Norman — will be arraigned at a later date, Hecht said. Sankoh’s Revolutionary United Front launched a vicious insurgency to control the government and diamond fields in 1991. Full Story

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