May 24, 2000 |
By the time Pvt. Sorie Bangura got his hands on Foday Sankoh last Wednesday, the wounded rebel leader was quivering and pleading for his life. "People were trying to kill him, so shots were fired in the air," Bangura said outside Sankoh's ransacked home here. "He was weak. He had a bullet wound in his leg. Everyone tore off his clothes. 'I am disgraced already,' he said to me. 'Don't kill me.' " Bangura didn't kill Sankoh, who during nine days on the run was the most wanted man in Sierra Leone.
May 22, 2000 |
Pro-government forces advanced Sunday toward a rebel-held town that would position them to make a push against a key rebel stronghold, officials said. The pro-government forces, including members of the army, former junta soldiers and militiamen composed of traditional hunters known as the Kamajors, were fighting their way toward Lunsar, 50 miles northeast of Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, said two top military officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
May 18, 2000 |
Rebel leader Foday Sankoh, Sierra Leone's most wanted man, was captured Wednesday and turned over to government soldiers in the West African nation. Sankoh, whose Revolutionary United Front rebels shattered a ragged 10-month peace accord earlier this month and took hundreds of U.N. peacekeepers hostage, had been missing since a May 8 clash between militiamen and his bodyguards at his villa.
May 13, 2000 |
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.
October 19, 1999 |
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, visibly shaken by a visit to a camp for victims of Sierra Leone's brutal civil war, said Monday that the United States may call for a Balkans-style war crimes tribunal despite a peace agreement promising amnesty for rebel troops. "In the end, it is very difficult to have peace and reconciliation without justice," Albright told a news conference amid meetings with President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and rebel leaders Foday Sankoh and Johnny Paul Koroma.
August 9, 1999 |
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.