Sierra Leone war crimes convict dies

A Sierra Leone war crimes convict died in Rwandan prison before completing his 50-year jail term, prison authorities confirmed.

Alex Tamba Brima, aged 45, died at King Faisal Hospital in Kigali where he had been admitted for the past one month, according to Hillary Sengabo, spokesperson for Rwanda Correctional Services.

Tamba is a former Sierra Leonean military commander who was involved in a coup that ousted President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah in 1997.

Seven war crimes convicts of the United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone have been incarcerated in Rwanda since 2009, at the Mpanga Prison in Southern Rwanda.

They were sentenced to varying jail terms.

Brima was convicted of multiple counts including terrorism, extermination, murder, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

Sengabo said prison authorities had written to police to conduct an autopsy and wrote a letter to the Special Court for Sierra Leone informing them of the death in line with the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Rwanda and Sierra Leone on hosting of the inmates.

He said Rwanda will facilitate the repatriation of the body as per the terms of the agreement.


Xinhua/ Zainab Sa’id