March 14, 2014

Sierra Leone War-time Leader Ahmad Tejan Kabbah Dies

Mr Kabbah received help from foreign forces to help defeat rebels
Mr Kabbah received help from foreign forces to help defeat rebels

Sierra Leone’s ex-president and war-time leader Ahmad Tejan Kabbah has died at the age of 82 after a long illness.

He died on Thursday afternoon at his home in the capital, Freetown, with his wife and close family members at his side, reports say.

In a statement, Sierra Leone’s government said Mr Kabbah’s death was an “irreparable loss”.

Mr Kabbah was praised for his leadership during and after Sierra’s Leone’s decade-long civil war.

Tens of thousands died in the conflict, with many more maimed and raped.

The rebel Revolutionary United Front’s trademark was to hack off the hands or feet of their victims.

The conflict officially ended in 2002 after foreign forces intervened to help defeat the rebels.

Mr Kabbah was first elected president in 1996, ending a decade of military rule. He was briefly ousted in a military coup the following year before being restored to power by a West African regional force.

He won a landslide victory in the 2002 elections and was praised for maintaining peace and establishing democratic institutions, although he was also criticised for failing to tackle poverty.

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