Learning & Education
Johnny Paul Koroma was the leader of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) and a senior leader within the alliance of the AFRC and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Sierra Leone. On 27 May 1997, the AFRC, founded by members of the armed forces of Sierra Leone, seized power in a coup d’État. The RUF rebels were reportedly invited to join a government of national unity (Junta). At the time the AFRC/RUF coalition was in power its armed forces, in agreement with or under the orders of Koroma, conducted armed attacks against the civilian population throughout the territory of Sierra Leone. Humanitarian aid workers as well as the UN peacekeeping forces were also targeted. The primary aim of these violent attacks was to terrorise the population and to punish it for not lending sufficient support to the RUF/AFRC alliance.
On 7 March 2003, Koroma was indicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone. He was charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes on the basis of individual criminal responsibility. He was also held responsible as hierarchical superior for criminal acts committed by his subordinates.
Johnny Paul Koroma went into hiding and was never arrested. On 1 June 2003 Koroma was officially declared dead in neighbouring Liberia under contentious circumstances, although the indictment against him remains in force.