Trial Monitoring

Special Court for Sierra Leone, AFRC Trial, Update 45

June 17, 2005
Michelle Staggs
Special Court for Sierra Leone, AFRC Trial, Update 45
Case or Series

AFRC Trial

Case or Series

Special Court for Sierra Leone


Sierra Leone



The week began with the witness describing the AFRC’s movement from Colonel Eddie Town in September 1998, down through Benguema and Allen Town and into Freetown on 6 January 1999. According to the witness, the AFRC increased the size of their force in Colonel Eddie Town, with a sixth battalion and a “Red Lion” battalion being added to the existing five battalions. A Rapid Deployment Force, comprising ex-SLA combatants was also formed. The witness further described how Musa appointed the first accused, Alex Tamba Brima (aka “Gullit”), as his deputy commander and further ordered that the second accused, Ibrahim “Bazzy” Kamara, report directly to Gullit and the third accused, Santigie Borbor Kanu (aka “Five-five”) report directly to Bazzy. According to the witness, there was a distinction in the AFRC between the rank of a combatant and the assignment of a combatant: those who were subordinate in rank to another combatant wouldn’t necessarily be subordinate in assignment. The prosecution may have led this evidence to show that the accused could have had “effective control” of an operation, despite being subordinate in rank to other officers within the AFRC. Determining that the accused were superior commanders (despite being subordinate in rank) is likely to be particularly important for the prosecution’s case against the accused for the crimes alleged in the indictment that are punishable under Article 6.3 of the Special Court’s Statute, restating the doctrine of command responsibility.