Ibrahim Bazzy Kamara, a former war leader in the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) has called on the government and people of Sierra Leone to forgive them (former wars leaders) for the crimes they were alleged to have committed during the Country’s civil conflict.
Mr Kamara who is serving his jail term of over 40years sentence in the Rwanda spoke via an audio trending on Social Media (WhatsApp), pleaded on behalf of his colleagues whom he said are all serving decades of sentencing jail term in the east African country .
He said they had been suffering in jail for crimes they did not commit particularly as military men in the Sierra Leone Army who fought to defend the territories of the country from rebel agressions .
‘’I was sentenced for crimes that were committed in places that I never had business with or been to especially as a military man. How could we be convicted for over 40years in jail when the AFRC only ruled for 9 months? I have never been to places like Bo or deployed in those areas when I was the army. But the court said so. We have put the past behind us, we don’t war again, we are appealing to president Bio to help us . we are are treated badly here in a foreign land. ‘’ Bazzy Said.
as part and Issa Sesay has regretted their actions and appeal to the People of Sierra Leone and the SLPP government to forgive them and allow them to return home.
According to Ibrahim Bazzy Kamara, who was the PLO 3 in the AFRC junta regime, he was once a military man and he had served in the Sierra Leone Armed Forces before joining the AFRC /RUF which ruled the country for 9 months.
Mr . Kamara expressed deep remorse and apologized to Sierra Leoneans for all that went wrong in the country’s civil conflict that left thousands killed, maimed and devastated.
He continued that they have been victims of their own fate as they are the ones caught to answer for the crimes committed all throughout the war.
He said he had not set eyes on his children for over 20yrs and that he sees his wife once a year.
He complained that they have been facing serious language barrier issue that only few people speak English in the Prison they find themselves.
Also, he continued that they have been suffering from malnutrition as the food they usually serve them isn’t ‘’good for consumption,’’ but they had nothing to do about it; “is either we eat or starve.”
The former AFRC strong man said that the Rwandan Authority manipulated them to camouflage the world that things are okay, while they recover all their citizens who committed the 1994 genocide.
‘’we’ve put in the same cell with their citizens who committed the genocide and the security forces in the prison have considered us as enemies. we have constantly receiving threats “we’re going to kill you all, you have associated with our enemies and you are now our enemies” Mr. Kamara quoted the Rwandan Security Forces.
He also complained that they feared for their lives and have they have therefore stayed away from the Rwandan inmates, and this has made the environment hostile for them as they have self-isolated themselves.
‘’The most unfortunate thing is that when an inmate receives such statement is dangerous; we have witnessed the killing of inmates and no one questioned such action.
In lieu of these, Mr Kamara said they preferred serving their jail term in Sierra Leone and pleaded with all concerned for their repatriation.
Bazzy praised President Bio as a man whom he fought alongside during their days in the army, referring to the president as a discipline and hardworking man.
He acknowledged the fact that only the government of Sierra Leone will help for their release.
“We are not asking for Freedom, but to return home so that we won’t die in a foreign land.” Kamara said with regret.
‘’ if we are taken home, we will have relief; as Sierra Leone is our motherland and we will be able see our compatriots There and we will even have a chance to taste Sierra Leone’s food, which we have not tasted for years.’’ He said.
He explained that even though they take responsibility for the War crimes committed in the war, but they had also played a part in bringing peace to the country especially the role they played to lore in their fighters to disarm.
“To disarmed Military men isn’t easy, but I do play a part to disarm them, so they should judge us for the good part we played too,” he said.
He described President Bio as a fine man whom he worked under in the NPRC military regime in Daru town, and said “he is a good command and a gentleman.”
Bazzy is serving lengthy sentencing with 5 four other ex-war lords who were sentenced by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone that tried armed factions in the country’s conflict.
He said President Bio is a man of honor and “his words are his bond,” he strongly believes if His Excellency takes up their plight and advocate for them to return home.
It could be recalled that Sierra Leone suffered an 11 years brutal war which started in 1991 and ended in 2002. The war was started by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) on March 23th 1991, they were supported by the former President of Liberia Charles Taylor’s forces in an attempt to overthrow the Joseph Saidu Momoh government. The Revolutionary United Front (RUF) seized most part of the Capital city, Freetown. They later failed in the coup and many of its leaders were charged for crimes against Humanity at the Sierra Leone Special Court. Some of their surviving leaders are Issa Sesay, Morris Kallon, Ibrahim B. Kamara, Santigie Kanu and Augustine Gbao. All of whom were convicted in February 2009 of war crimes and crimes against Humanity and served jail terms in Rwandan