Global Policy Forum

UN Council to Set up War

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
October 5, 2000

The U.N. Security Council on Thursday discussed setting up an "independent special court" to prosecute those guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone. The special court was requested by the government in Freetown to prosecute rebel soldiers and their leaders who engaged in atrocities against civilians during years of protracted fighting with government troops - including rape, mutilation and murder.

The court will prosecute "persons most responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law committed in the territory of Sierra Leone," an agreement between Freetown and the U.N. said. Freetown has detained Foday Sankoh, the former chief of the Revolutionary United Front, who was responsible for torture, mutilation and killing of civilians. The special court will have eight trial judges, six appeal judges, a prosecutor and a deputy prosecutor, a legal staff and security officers. It will cost about 22 million dollars a year to maintain. Costs for maintaining prisons are separate.

The council is sending a 10-member delegation to Sierra Leone this weekend to discuss the establishment of the special court. Its members are the ambassadors from the United States, China, Russia, Britain, Bangladesh, Canada, Jamaica, Mali, the Netherlands and Ukraine.

More Information on the War Crimes Court
More Information on Sierra Leone
More Information on War Crimes Tribunals


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