Freetown, Sierra Leone
A U.N. tribunal has indicted seven Sierra Leoneans on charges of committing war crimes during the countrys brutal, decade-long civil war, which ended last year. Rebel leader Foday Sankoh, who presided over such horrors as the maiming of toddlers, was among those charged. His rebel army terrorized villages by raping and mutilating the adults and kidnapping the children for use as soldiers. The children were often drugged before being sent into battle. Sankoh, the loser of the civil war, is at large. But the court also charged some of the winners with war crimesincluding the interior minister, Sam Hinga Normanand they are in custody. The special court, convened in the Sierra Leonean capital of Freetown this week, is the first U.N. war-crimes tribunal to sit in the country where the crimes took place.