August 6, 2003 by

Foday Sankoh

2 comments

Categories: Criminals, Military

fsankoh.jpgFoday Saybana Sankoh, the rebel leader who instigated a decade of civil war in Sierra Leone, died on July 29 from natural causes. He was 65.
Sankoh joined the British colonial army in 1956, and reached the rank of corporal. In 1971, he was dismissed for taking part in an attempted coup against Sierra Leone president Siaka Stevens. Sankoh served seven years in prison for his part in the insurgence, then went to Libya to train in the guerrilla camps with a group of exiles.
There Sankoh formed an alliance with Charles Taylor, a rebel leader who later seized control of Liberia. With Taylor’s backing, Sankoh returned to Sierra Leone and created an army known as the Revolutionary United Front. In 1991, Sankoh claimed ownership over the country’s diamond mines, and ordered the RUF to start a civil war. He offered his soldiers diamonds as payment for hacking off the limbs of civilians with machetes and raping tens of thousands of girls and women. Over the next decade, 50,000 people would be killed in the conflict.
In 2000, Sankoh was captured outside his Freetown home by pro-government troops, and the RUF was disbanded. During his appearance at the United Nations-backed war tribunal in March, Sankoh called himself a “living god.” He was charged with 17 counts of murder, rape, sexual slavery and extermination.

2 Responses to Foday Sankoh

  1. phillip stevens

    hi im the grandsonof president siaka stevens and i was just doing sum research on him when i found this very insightful,if only this living god could have found enough stimulation in the in the glory of understanding your advantages and not taking leasure from others rip to all lost souls.

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