By a press release (02/05/19)
The International Criminal Court ICC is believed to be revisiting claims that Alie Kabba, Sierra Leone's Foreign Minister, may face charges for war crimes.
A highly placed source from the Hague has conferred that moves are underway to look into claims that Mr. Alie Kabba was the brain behind the deadly Revolutionary United Front RUF rebels that inflicted mayhem, human rights abuses and caused the deaths of thousands of people from 1991 to 2002 in Sierra Leone.
ICC's latest move was ignited by claims made by the detained former Liberian President Charles Taylor about Alie Kabba's direct involvement in the formation and execution of the notorious RUF killing machine in its 11 years of the bloody carnage.
When questioned about Foday Sankoh at the ICC in the Hague, Netherland, Liberia's Ex-President Taylor and leader of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia rebels, asserted in his opening statement on July 15, 2009 (part 3): "Foday Sankoh was apparently one of Alie Kabba's men that were in the camp. I did not know Foday Sankoh just as Alie Kabba did not know my men. Foday Sankoh did not have the credentials to be a member of the Mathaba. I cannot understand why the ICC has not brought Alie Kabba to court."
Charles Taylor's confirmation is still on video and viral on social media since then. And that makes it's official that Sierra Leone's new Foreign Minister Mr. Alie Badara Sanjan Kabba was the founder and architect of the notorious RUF rebels. All started after the APC government of Siaka Stevens expelled Alie Kabba and other radical students from Fourah Bay College, FBC, the University of Sierra Leone in 1985.
Alie Kabba, as FBC Student Union President, still holds the enviable record of being the only FBC student leader who was elected unopposed. The APC government feared him so much that he and other radical students were expelled and they had to flee into exile in Ghana to complete their undergraduate degrees. And they eventually regrouped to form the RUF rebels, thanks largely to the finances accrued from the Libyan leader Muammar Al-Gadaffi. (Photo: Charles Taylor during his ICC court appearance).
Empirical pieces of evidence abound on the involvement of Alie Kabba in Sierra Leone's brutal civil war between (1991 - 2002) that held Sierra Leone back, oppressed the people and obscured the future of the majority of the youth up to this day.
In fact, most commentators suggest that Alie Kabba was the original godfather of the RUF and not Foday Saybana Sankoh, whom, on careful research, appears to be Alie Kabba's flunky.
To better understand Alie Kabba's role in the decade long civil war, it is worth taking a quick look into his student days at Fourah Bay College and his sojourns to Ghana and Libya following his expulsion from FBC by the corrupt APC government of President Siaka Stevens.
Many works on the civil war in Sierra Leone have traced the seed of the war to the FBC campus during the 80s, an era that was rife with radical students' revolutionary thinking and characterised by riots and disturbances. It was in the midst of this that Alie Kabba rose to prominence while promoting his radical leftist ideologies.
In 1985 Alie Kabba, who was now a member of several radical groups - most notably the Green Book Study Group and promoting Muammar Al Ghadaffi's ideas of revolutionary mass participation - was elected unopposed as president of the student union.
He wasted no time in showing his disregard for law and order by challenging university authorities at any given chance. His tenure also exhibited dictatorial tendencies and the barbaric Sharia law.
An engineering student at the time recalled an incident where a fellow student who was accused of stealing was publicly flogged under the supervision of Alie Kabba. It may be worth pointing out that such fear tactics (public humiliation and torture), would later become the Modus Operandi of the RUF rebels, who took this form to a grotesque level by hacking off limbs of innocent civilians in public. (Photo: President Tejan Kabbah and Foday Sankoh, right. Tejan Kabbah, Alie Kabba's uncle, was also aware of his nephew's RUF links).
In April 1985, following a riot led by Alie Kabba, 41 students including Kabba himself, were expelled from the university, thanks to the machinations of the APC government who saw Alie Kabba as a threat to their prolonged governance.
This will later become a defining moment and a catalyst for the revolution. After his expulsion, Alie Kabba focused on strengthening his Libyan links by making frequent trips to Libya from Ghana, to seek funds for commando guerrilla training for disgruntled Sierra Leonean youths.
Reporting his activities in the wake of his expulsion, the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Final Report Vol. 3b: chapter 5) explained: "Some of the expelled students eventually found their way to Ghana and gained admission into the University of Legion.
From Ghana, Alie Kabba made frequent visits to Guinea and Libya and was also a regular visitor to the People's Bureau (as the Libyan Embassy was called) in Accra. The idea of the Revolutionary United Front RUF actually came from the expelled students from FBC, especially Alie Kabba, to fight the APC government.
With strong connections in Libya and funds secured, Alie Kabba started recruiting youths from Freetown, specifically the disgruntled ones that felt marginalised, for guerrilla training at the notorious Mathaba Camp in Libya.
After successfully setting up the training camp in Libya, Alie Kabba stayed in Ghana, from where he coordinated the activities of the revolution. It appears that his decision not to take part in the training physically angered his supporters and trainees including Foday Sankoh.
According to the TRC report, the trainees at the camp in Libya started accusing Alie Kabba of "sitting on millions of dollars" meant for their training. This distrust between Alie Kabba and his men created a leadership void that was eventually filled by Foday Sankoh and as they say, the rest is history.
The failure of the International Criminal Court to indict Alie Kabba for war crimes is a different order of concern all together; thus, some will argue that the ICC's inaction is an indication of Alie Kabba's innocence in this gruesome matter. "Or perhaps the ICC is just bias and toothless bulldog organisation, otherwise the likes of Alie Kabba should be indicted for war crimes," a Sierra Leone observer opined. (Photo: Victimised civilians during the Sierra Leone rebel war).
"It is virtually impossible for me to be in two places at the same time, in Chicago and in Libya at the same time," Alie Kabba, in his defence, is often heard saying. There is an old Krio adage, which when loosely translated reads as: "One must not focus where he/she falls and forget where he/she bucks his/her foot." A look back at where Sierra Leone tripped, the root of the revolution, will put Alie Kabba firmly as the architect of the revolution and the original godfather of the RUF.
Saying Alie Kabba is innocent is no different from saying Foday Sankoh, who was later arrested and died in prison, was a saint. To this day, there's been no apology from Alie Kabba to this nation for his role in the civil war, a demonstration of his arrogance.
And for parliament to approve his nomination as Foreign Minister is an insult to the many innocent lives lost in the war. His liberty in Sierra Leone is an insult to the victims and families of the war. "Alie Kabba should not be a free man, he is a war criminal and an enemy of Sierra Leone," many Sierra Leoneans continue to say today.
It remains to be seen if the International Criminal Court in the Hague is going to revive the case against Alie Kabba especially following the recorded testimony of Charles Taylor who is serving 50 years imprisonment in Britain for leading the NPFL rebels against Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Competent legal sources have hinted that Alie Kabba will be arraigned before the ICC to answer to war crime charges at the appropriate time. When this is going to happen is the million dollar question. But for now, Alie Kabba is glowing in the SLPP government of President Julius Maada Bio as Foreign Minister.
Independent observers are waiting to hear from Alie Kabba himself regarding his involvement in RUF activities. Some say if he comes out clean and apologises, Sierra Leoneans would likely forgive him. (Photo: Mr. Alie Kabba is now Sierra Leone's Foreign Minister under the SLPP government. How long will it take the ICC to arraign Alie Kabba to face justice?).
"Alie Kabba is Untrustworthy," Says a Former FBC Lecturer
"I know that man and the least said the better. We were all rusticated from FBC in 1985 and he is yet to write the book he promised on his role in the RUF. He was once asked to introduce me as the keynote speaker at a Sierra Leone Independence celebration in Chicago in 2003 but he claimed he did not know me.
"Many were surprised to find out that he did, in fact, know me after he later agreed to do the introduction. Nothing personal against the brother, he can be charming but I don’t trust him," Dr. Jimmy Kandeh, a former lecturer at FBC, disclosed.
More details soon as the Organiser.net newspaper monitors the situation.