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Vol 45 No 14

Published 9th July 2004


Liberia

No peace without justice

Freetown's war crimes court slowly establishes a precedent

While the spotlight shines on the trial of Slobodan Milosevic in the Hague and the indictment of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, the trial of some of those deemed most responsible for Sierra Leone's civil war is more quietly under way in Freetown itself and is open to the public. The Special Court for Sierra Leone is potentially a model for Africa. A shame, then, that the biggest names on the Court's list of indictees are absent. Revolutionary United Front leader Foday Sankoh died in custody in July 2003; Sam Bockarie was killed in Liberia in May 2003. Former military leader Johnny Paul Koroma is now on the run and former President Charles Taylor is in exile in Calabar, Nigeria.

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