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Wednesday, 12 August 2015

BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRO-SIERRA LEONEAN " FODAY SAYANA SANKOH " WAS THE LEADER AND FOUNDER OF THE SIERRA LEONE REBEL GROUP REVOLUNATARY UNITED FRONT (RUF) IN THE ELEVEN YEARS LONG SIERRA LEONE CIVIL WAR :

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Foday Sankoh


Foday Sankoh
Foday Sankoh.jpg
Leader of the Revolutionary United Front
In office
1991–2000
Personal details
BornOctober 17, 1937
Masang MayosoTonkolili DistrictSierra Leone
DiedJuly 29, 2003 (aged 65)
FreetownSierra Leone
NationalitySierra Leonean
Political partyRevolutionary United Front
ProfessionRebelSoldier
Military service
AllegianceSierra Leone Sierra Leone
Service/branchSierra Leone Army
Years of service1956-1971
RankCorporal
Foday Saybana Sankoh (17 October 1937 – 29 July 2003) was the leader and founder of the Sierra Leone rebel group Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in the 11-year-long Sierra Leone Civil War, starting in 1991 and ending in 2002. An estimated 50,000 people were killed during the war, and over 500,000 people were displaced in neighbouring countries.

Early life and career

Foday Sankoh was born on 17 October 1937, in the remote village of Masang MayosoTonkolili District in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone to an ethnic Temne father and a Loko mother. Sankoh was the son of a farmer.
Sankoh attended primary and secondary school in MagburakaTonkolili District and took on a number of jobs in Magburaka before he joined the Sierra Leone army in 1956. He undertook training in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. In 1971, then a corporal in the Sierra Leone army, he was cashiered from the army's signal corps and imprisoned for seven years at the Pademba Road Prison in Freetown for taking part in a mutiny.
On his release he worked as an itinerant photographer in the south and east of Sierra Leone, eventually coming in contact with young radicals.
Sankoh and confederates Rashid Mansaray and Abu Kanu solicited support for an armed uprising to oust the APC government. They then traveled to Liberia, where they reportedly continued recruiting and served with Charles G. Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL).

Civil war

On 23 March 1991, the RUF, led by Foday Sankoh and backed by Charles Taylor, launched its first attack in villages in Kailahun District in the diamond-rich Eastern Province of Sierra Leone.
The RUF became notorious for brutal practices such as mass rapes and amputations during the civil war. Sankoh personally ordered many operations, including one called "Operation Pay Yourself" that encouraged troops to loot anything they could find. After complaining about such tactics, Kanu and Mansaray were summarily executed.
In March 1997, Sankoh fled to Nigeria, where he was put under house arrest and then imprisoned. From this time until Sankoh's release in 1999, Sam Bockarie performed the task of director of military operations of the RUF. During the ten-year war, Sankoh broke several promises to stop fighting, including the Abidjan Peace Accord and the Lomé Peace Accord signed in 1999. Eventually the United Kingdom and ECOMOG intervened with their own small, but professional, military forces, and the RUF was eventually crushed.

Arrest and charges

Sankoh was later arrested after his soldiers gunned down a number of protesters outside his Freetown home in 2000. His arrest led to massive celebrations throughout Sierra Leone.[1]
Sankoh was handed to the British. Under the jurisdiction of a UN-backed court,[citation needed] he was indicted on 17 counts for various war crimes, including use of child soldiersand crimes against humanity, including exterminationenslavementrape and sexual slavery.[2]

Death

Sankoh died of complications arising from a stroke whilst awaiting trial. In a statement by the UN-backed war crimes court, chief prosecutor David Crane said that Sankoh's death granted him "a peaceful end that he denied to so many others".[3]