— The Erimtan Angle —

OnThursday, 26 April 2012, the Special Court for Sierra LeoneinThe Hague will announce its verdict on Charles Taylor, the erstwhile president ofLiberia.

A small-scale businesswoman in Monrovia, Liberia’s capitol, Mamie Sombai who makes living selling a small array of soaps, sweets and toothpaste sees the issue rather differently: “I will feel bad because I love Charles Taylor. I will not lie to no one. I love him”.[1]

Charles McArthur Ghankay Taylor (born 28 January 1948) was the 22nd President of Liberia, serving from 2 August 1997until his resignation on 11 August 2003. Born in Arthington, Montserrado County, Liberia, Taylorearned a degree at BentleyCollegein the United Statesbefore returning to Liberiato work in the government of Samuel Doe. After being removed for embezzlement, he eventually arrived in Libya, where he was trained as a guerilla fighter. He returned to Liberiain 1989 as the head of a Libyan-backed resistance group, the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, to overthrow the Doe regime, initiating the First Liberian Civil War. Following Doe’s execution, he gained control of a large portion of the country and became one of the most prominent warlords in Africa. Following a peace deal that ended the war, Taylorterrorized the population into electing him president in the 1997 general election. During his term of office, Taylorwas accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity as a result of his involvement in the Sierra Leone Civil War. Domestically, opposition to his regime grew, culminating in the outbreak of the Second Liberian Civil War in 1999. By 2003, he had lost control of much of the countryside and was formally indicted by the Special Courtfor Sierra Leone. That year, he resigned as a result of growing international pressure and went into exile in Nigeria. In 2006, the newly elected President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf formally requested his extradition. Upon his arrival in Monrovia, he was transferred to the custody of the United Nations Mission in Liberiaand immediately flown to Sierra Leone. He is currently being held in the United Nations Detention Unit on the premises of the Penitentiary Institution Haaglanden in The Hague, where he is on trial before the Special Courtfor Sierra Leonefor his role in the civil war.[2]

[1] Tamasin Ford, “Charles Taylor Faces Verdict From Brutal African War” NPR (25 April 2012). http://www.npr.org/2012/04/25/151365144/charles-taylor-faces-verdict-from-brutal-african-war.

[2] “Charles Taylor, President of Liberia” Penny Liberty (02 March 2012). http://pennylibertygbow.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/charles-taylor-president-of-liberia/.


Comments on: "The Trial of Charles Taylor in The Hague, 26 April 2012" (2)

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