Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Charles Taylor 'remains a threat to peace'

Remember back when warlord and former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor fled into exile in disgrace, rather than be overthrown by rebels? Nigeria offered him residency under the pretense that it would be a service to peace in Liberia. There were widespread calls for Nigeria President Olesegun Obasanjo to hand over Taylor to the Sierra Leone War Crimes Tribunal, which had indicted Taylor as a war criminal. Encouraging stability in Liberia and West Africa was sufficient excuse to give indicted war criminal Taylor immunity/impunity.

This article (in French) in Le Monde paints a different picture. David Crane, prosecutor for the Sierra Leone tribunal, said of Taylor, "Since his departure from Liberia, he remains a menace to peace and security in the region."

Described in the West African press as 'one of the greatest predators of Africa,' Charles Taylor is accused of crimes against humanity and of violation of humanitarian law by the special court, reports Le Monde. Taylor has to respond to crimes committed in Sierra Leone where he had given his support to the Revolutionary United Front rebels (RUF).

The French daily added: In spring 2004, the [UN] Security Council asked states to freeze [Taylor's] assets and those of his circle, guilty of having 'pillaged the resources of Liberia and transfered their booty out of the country.

Indicted war criminal Taylor remains undisturbed, if largely out of the public eye, in Nigeria.


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