The former leader of the disbanded rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF has called on the international community and President Julius Maada Bio to have him transferred to serve the rest of his 52-year jail term in Sierra Leone.
Speaking from his jail in Rwanda, General Issa Sesay who was convicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) said: “there is no place like home.” He added that he wants to be able to have access to his family whom he said cannot visit him because of distance and cost.
Sesay said his wife was only allowed to visit him once a year and that he had not seen his two sons since he was transferred to serve his sentence in the east African nation of Rwanda.
He said his health is fine: “I am having three meals a day with proper health care, but I miss seeing my friends and family”, he said.
Sounding contrite, the 50-year-old former rebel chieftain said he was sorry for the mayhem the RUF unleashed on Sierra Leone during the 10-year-long war in the 1990s which killed; maimed and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
He stressed that his role in bringing back peace was “immeasurable,” adding that he was appointed by West African leaders as an interlocutor for the rebels when his then boss, Foday Sankoh dithered about the peace process.
“I was dedicated and genuine in the search to bring back peace to Sierra Leone” he said, adding that his commitment had angered some of his commanders who accused him of “selling-out”.
He went on to say his 19-year-old son had already gained admission to study at Fourah Bay College and that he would like to see him progress even if from behind bars; but in his home country.
It could be recalled that current President Julius Maada Bio was the then military head of state who initiated peace talks which culminated in the Lome Peace Agreement.
However, that Lome agreement collapsed when Sankoh reneged and his rebels took hundreds of UN peacekeepers hostage.