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Sierra Leone

December 25, 1994 | Reuters
Sierra Leone said Friday it would release at least 200 suspected rebels, some held without trial for three years, but added the amnesty was unrelated to peace talks it opened with rebel leaders earlier this month.
January 21, 2014 | By Raja Abdulrahim
With peace talks due to begin this week in Switzerland, a report lays out new evidence that the Syrian government engaged in the “systematic torture and killing” of detainees that it says could support charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. A team of legal and forensics experts, including three lawyers with experience prosecuting war crimes in Sierra Leone and the former Yugoslavia, was asked by a London law firm acting on behalf of Qatar to review about 55,000 images said to show bodies of people who died in Syrian custody.
August 9, 1999 | Times Wire Services
A rebel faction holding Western and other hostages here freed groups of them Sunday, the fifth day of their captivity, sources close to U.N. negotiators said. At least half the 34 who remained captive earlier Sunday had reportedly been released by day's end. U.N. officials listed those released as seven U.N. military observers, six local drivers, two members of the West African ECOMOG peacekeeping force, two journalists, a Ghanaian aid worker and a Sierra Leone government official.
October 17, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Grown chimpanzees can't resist the power of a yawn, even if it comes from humans. That's the result of a study involving orphaned chimpanzees rescued from Africa's illegal bush meat trade. Elainie Madsen, an evolutionary psychologist from Sweden's Lund University, yawned and made other faces at the chimps at the Takugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone. She found that only the grown chimps appear to develop a contagion for yawning, just as humans do. Very young chimps didn't imitate the yawns or control gestures -- gaping and nose wiping -- made by Madsen and the chimps' caretaker at the sanctuary.
May 10, 2000
Once again, Sierra Leone is on the brink of being overrun by the brutal forces of guerrilla leader Foday Sankoh. Hundreds of U.N. troops sent into the country to enforce a bad peace agreement are being "detained" by Sankoh's forces. The United States and Britain are loath to be sucked into yet another quagmire in Africa, and the badly equipped, poorly trained U.N. forces are not likely to do the job.
May 13, 2000 | ANN M. SIMMONS
Sierra Leone, which won its independence from Britain in 1961, has experienced a long decline marked by coups, contested elections and poverty. In 1985, army commander Maj. Gen. Joseph Momoh came to power, and the country slid into a social hell of interminable fuel lines, food shortages and corruption that diverted profits from 90% of its diamond production. The civil war, from which the current shaky peace deal stems, began in the early 1990s.
June 2, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
Liberia handed over the body of warlord Sam Bockarie to neighboring Sierra Leone, which has indicted him for atrocities. Bockarie, a former disco dancer and hairdresser who became one of the region's most feared rebel commanders, was killed in a shootout with Liberian government forces May 6. Since then, Sierra Leone's U.N.-backed special court for war crimes had demanded that the corpse be handed over for independent identification. The court is probing crimes such as amputations and mass
May 12, 2010 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
When it comes to converting collective trauma into musical inspiration, few corners of the planet can touch New Orleans. For decades, the Crescent City's litany of natural and man-made catastrophes has prompted lyrics of melancholy resilience to flow from composers' pens, and sent defiantly uptempo trumpet solos and guitar riffs echoing through the French Quarter. So when Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars decided to end their U.S. tour in New Orleans several months ago, the idea surfaced of having the band stick around town long enough to record its second album.
October 26, 1996 | From Times Wire Reports
The U.N. World Food Program in Rome reported finding hundreds of emaciated people in Sierra Leone who looked like "living skeletons" after being held by rebels as slave laborers for up to five years. U.N. officials who heard reports that hundreds of sick and hungry people had walked long distances in search of food said they found a "horrific scene" at the town of Blama. "Men and women were reduced to skeletons, with some of them having to support themselves on sticks to walk," the WFP said.
January 11, 1999 | From Reuters
A West African intervention force in Sierra Leone geared up to counterattack rebels Sunday, ferrying additional troops by helicopter toward the front line in this capital. At the same time, West African governments stepped up mediation to stop the fighting in the war-torn city. On Sunday, the violence claimed the life of a journalist from Associated Press. Colleagues said that two other AP journalists were wounded as the three traveled in a car that came under rebel fire in Freetown.
October 16, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
A young chimpanzee will yawn when a human does, regardless of whether the face is familiar, according to a study that suggests contagious yawning grows stronger in our primate cousins as they grow up. Researchers yawned, gaped or wiped their nose in front of 33 chimpanzees orphaned by Central Africa's illegal bush meat trade and housed at a Sierra Leone primate rehabilitation center. They expected the chimps would more readily copy their "mother," a villager who feeds, cuddles and grooms the captive chimps, some of which arrived when they were a few months old. Instead, infant chimps didn't respond to the human gestures.
August 30, 2012 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - When Ishmael Beah looked at the dazed faces of child soldiers in the Central African Republic, dark memories rose inside him. He'd been in a similar situation as a boy soldier in the West African country of Sierra Leone in the 1990s during a war in which combatants routinely chopped off people's limbs. Now he had traveled the corrugated back roads of the Central African Republic to the remote town of Ndele, where he was present last week for negotiations with militia leaders on the release of child combatants.
April 27, 2012 | By Robyn Dixon and Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The litany of abuses was chilling: mass murder, rape, sexual slavery. Forcing children to fight. Chopping off victims' limbs. Former Liberian President Charles Taylor's conviction Thursday by an international tribunal in the Netherlands on charges of abetting such war crimes in the West African country of Sierra Leone sent a powerful message to other warlords that they will eventually face justice, human rights activists and prosecutors say. But it also highlights what can be a wrenching tension between pursuing justice or peace first in some of the world's most violent, chaotic corners.
September 21, 2011 | By Rene Lynch, Los Angeles Times
As a Culver City art gallery owner and marketing and advertising executive, Lisa Schultz wondered whether there was anything she could do about the plight of disabled men, women and children in Sierra Leone. Many had lost limbs during unspeakable atrocities during that African country's devastating civil war, and others suffered injuries or were born with birth defects. But all felt the stigma of being immobile in a country where the disabled are often kept behind closed doors. "Crutches," she remembers thinking.
September 19, 2010 | By Grahame L. Jones
Not every soccer fan remembers Roger Milla, although they should. Kei Kamara certainly remembers him. Milla was a three-time World Cup player for Cameroon, a forward who at the age of 38 enlivened the 1990 tournament in Italy with his gap-toothed grin and his hip-wiggling dances at the corner flag after each of his goals. Flash forward two decades and on Sunday evening Kamara, who was born in Sierra Leone, got the chance to pay tribute to one of the true folk heroes of African football.
August 9, 2010 | From Reuters
Actress Mia Farrow told a war crimes court on Monday that she had heard supermodel Naomi Campbell say she had been given a "huge diamond" by Charles Taylor when he was Liberia's president. Campbell told the Special Court for Sierra Leone last week she had been given "dirty looking pebbles" after a 1997 dinner in South Africa, but did not know if they were diamonds from Taylor, on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. In court on Monday, Farrow said the British model had joined a group of guests at breakfast after the charity dinner, hosted by South African president Nelson Mandela, and had started relating something that had happened overnight.
August 6, 2010 | By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
Supermodel Naomi Campbell traded the catwalk for the witness stand Thursday as she acknowledged accepting a gift of "dirty-looking stones" that war crimes prosecutors say were uncut diamonds from former Liberian strongman Charles Taylor. Prosecutors say the gems offer proof that Taylor engaged in the trade of illegally mined "conflict diamonds" to help arm rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone's decade-long civil war. Thousands of civilians were killed or mutilated during the fighting.
May 16, 2010 | By Steffie Nelson, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Just a stone's throw from Pink's hot dogs and set off by a bright orange awning, Zainab is an oasis of eclectic glamour on a gritty stretch of Melrose Avenue. In the six months since boutique owner Zainab Sumu moved her operation from a private, appointment-only salon in Hollywood to a 1,300-square-foot ground floor retail space, Zainab has steadily generated buzz as one of L.A.'s most creatively curated shops. Her best customers remain the stylists and personal shoppers who know Zainab as a key source of Azzedine Alaia fashion, Mariages Frères teas and local design talents such as Gregory Parkinson.
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