U.N. and Sierra Leone Sign Agreement Creating Ad Hoc Tribunal on War Crimes

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Friday, March 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
On January 16, 2002, the United Nations and the Sierra Leone Government signed an agreement establishing an ad hoc tribunal to try persons accused of committing atrocities during the civil war in Sierra Leone. The tribunal will be located in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. It is expected to try approximately twenty persons who will be charged with crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious violations of international law. Among the persons expected to be indicted include Foday Sankoh, the leader of the Revolutionary United Front. As a result of a peace plan negotiated by the United Nations, which has been extremely difficult to implement, the rebels have turned in their weapons. It remains to be seen whether allegations that members of government forces also committed atrocities will result in their trails by the tribunal.