Bockarie, Sam

Sam BockarieSam Bockarie was one of the top leaders of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Sierra Leone. Between 1992 and April 1999 he held the position of Battle Group Commander and subsequently Battle Field Commander with the leader of the RUF, Foday Sankoh, as his superior. At the time of Sankoh’s house arrest from March 1997 until April 1999, Bockarie was alleged to have directed all military operations in Sierra Leone. Bockarie was one of the leading members of the so-called Junta, the alliance of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) and the RUF.

Between May 1997 and April 1999, Sam Bockarie, personally or in concert with other leaders of the RUF and the AFRC, exercised control, authority and command over subordinates in the RUF/AFRC. The alliance troops were reported to have conducted a violent campaign against the civilian population which consisted of collective executions, mutilations, sexual violence, forced labour in the diamond mines and in the enrolment and use of child soldiers. The AFRC/RUF troops were accused of attacking the United Nations peacekeeping forces (UNAMSIL) and humanitarian assistance personnel.

Sam Bockarie was indicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone on 3 March 2003. He was accused of 17 war crimes and crimes against humanity. Bockarie was killed under contentious circumstances in Liberia in early May 2003. The indictment against him was withdrawn on 8 December 2003.

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