Sierra Leone's deputy Justice minister Bockari Arrow John on Sunday visited eight countrymen jailed in Rwanda since November 2009, an official source disclosed.
The eight Sierra Leone nationals were sentenced by the Special Tribunal on Sierra Leone (SCSL) for war crimes and transferred to Rwanda where they are serving their jail terms.
According to the Rwandan government, the Sierra Leonean official expressed satisfaction that detention conditions where the prisoners are being held met international standards. "The Rwandan jail accommodating the Sierra Leonean detainees is of international standards," the Rwandan government news release quoted the Sierra Leonean minister as saying.
The eight former rebels, sentenced by the SCSL for atrocities perpetrated during the civil war in Sierra Leone, are principally three officials of the United Revolutionary Front (URF), three others of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) and two officials of the Civil Defense Forces (CDF).
"All these prisoners will serve sentences ranging from 23 to 50 years without the option of fines," said the deputy director-general of Rwanda Prison Services, Ms Mary Gahonzire.
The Sierra Leoneans are being jailed in the Mpanga prison in southern Rwanda, 106 km away from the capital Kigali. It was built to accommodate suspects who committed genocide and sentenced by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which is based in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha.