Page last updated at 22:15 GMT, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Your Views: S Leone verdict

An international tribunal has found three Sierra Leone rebels guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

RUF leaders Issa Sesay, 38, and Morris Kallon, 45, were convicted of 16 of the 18 charges, while Augustine Gbao, 60, was found guilty on 14 of the counts.

The Freetown trial of the RUF rebel leaders, related to Sierra Leone's 10-year civil war, began in mid-2004.

Many RUF victims in the court sighed with relief at the verdicts. Sentences will be decided at a later date.

BBC News website readers have been sending in their reaction to the war crimes tribunal.


I am not really satisfied by the verdict. The huge amount of money spent on the special court could have been used on the reparation programme. The international community gave less than $5m to this programme and spent well over $300m on the special court. I personally think the verdict is not that welcome by the people of Sierra Leone.
Mahmoud Borboh Kargbo, Sierra Leone

I think the trial is OK but Mr Issa Sesay is the brain behind the end of the war. Therefore for total peace in my country, he should be freed.
Solomon John, Freetown, Sierra Leone


Some amount of justice and healing has begun for my people. I am truly happy that individuals are being held accountable for the brutal murders of my dear father, my brother and so many horrific days they put me and other Sierra Leonean through.
Christabel Roberts, Detroit, Michigan

It is a great day for me to hear that those who did bad things to my fellow Sierra Leoneans have not gone free and they must now pay for what they did. I say thank you to the international community for doing a good job.
Olonto Kargbo Jr, Holland

This is a move in the right direction. Let's hope that this will serve as a deterrent to all those who think they can kill and torture civilians with impunity. To all those rebel leaders and their commanders, they should remember that their days are numbered. The long arms of justice will catch up with them one day.
Ahmed Basha, London

As a former US Ambassador to Sierra Leone (2004-07), I applaud the Special Court for Sierra Leone's conviction of the RUF leaders who bear a heavy responsibility for the horrors suffered by the courageous people of that country. There are many more ex-RUF soldiers who share their guilt, but the point of indicting only those who were most responsible was to show that war crimes cannot be committed with impunity. This has been accomplished and now Sierra Leone's healing can continue.
Thomas N. Hull, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

This verdict is well deserved by the people of Sierra Leone. It is my wish that such a court be established in Liberia, where warlords are going unpunished for what they did against the people of Liberia.
E. Zodia Chelleh, USA

This is, indeed, a victory for the people on Sierra Leone, and, in a more general sense, the citizens of the world.
George Valentine, Toronto, Canada

The verdict is unfair to Sesay who had done so much to ensure the end of the conflict. He deserves better treatment than this. It will serve as a bad example.

Those who committed the real crime are those who armed the so-called warlords. All those who bought diamonds have helped pay for weapons. Wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia are only possible because of those who supply weapons and those people should be punished, too.
Ahemed Sherif, Liberia

As a Liberian I have been affected along with my family. My wife's first cousin is an amputee because of the lawless bandits running havoc in Liberia. Today's verdict is a step in the right direction. It is not only justice for victims in Sierra Leone but also victims in Liberia.
Seltue Karweaye, Liberian in Sweden

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