Three Sierra Leone rebel leaders have been gaoled for a total of 120 years for their part in atrocities in the country’s ten year civil war during the 1990’s. Their group - the Revolutionary United Front - was notorious for forcibly enlisting child soldiers, who became noted for their cruelty and ferocity.
The RUF’s favourite tactic was mutilation, and an estimated 20,000 civilians had arms, legs, or ears cut off with machetes and axes. Rape and murder were also common. Tens of thousands died in the war, and more than two million – a third of the population – were driven from their homes. In 2007, three other defendants were convicted for war crimes, but the leader and deputy leader of the RUF both died before they could be tried.