The trial documentary of one time RUF Commander, General Issa has been produced by a team headed by Rebecca Richman Cohen, a staff of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and launched at the British Council Auditorium past week.
The documentary explains in details the trial process of General Issa; and the role played by the witnesses, the prosecution and defence. It further pictures, General Issa himself elaborating on his responsibility as an interim leader of the Revolutionary United Front on the presumption that in his regime an a leader, he brought calmness to many areas that were under the control of the RUF. He further revealed that he practically contributed to the disarmament of his colleague who were not mostly ready to give up arms, since they thought “giving up their arms would render them powerless”
That notwithstanding, he went on, upon the Lome Peace accord, having met with political godfathers and peace-preachers in the likes of General Sani Abacha, Maxwell Khobe and officers of the UN peace keeping mission, he saw the need for the prevalence of peace in the country.
He however sadly stated that “having gone to such an extra mile to allow peace in the country, I am now being kept behind bars for crimes I did not commit” and said that “one day the truth will be revealed”
Shortly after the documentary film, a panel of four was brought onboard comprising officers who are human right officers, Special Court officers and people working towards the sustenance of the truth and reconciliation programme.
In a short statement, Bishop Humper of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission regarded TRC as a forum for restorative justice and it deals with the entire populace of the country, whereas the Special Court is there to hold accountable those who bear the greatest responsibilities in the eleven years civil conflict.
Human Right Commissioner Mr. Edward Sam upheld the view that it is indeed necessary for people to be held accountable for crimes they commit. This will enhance sustainability of peace and disallow the existence of impunity.
Participants of the programme raised questions in respect of the judgment passed against the RUF leader on 16 counts, even when he is one of the contributors, a primary one to the end of the war.
By Poindexter Sama