International Community Consented To Taylor’s Contacts With The RUF

Upon his appointment as head of the Committee of Five by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Charles Taylor regularly communicated and  held meetings with members of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), but all these contacts were done with the consent and participation of ECOWAS and the United Nations, he said in his testimony today before judges of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

“Subsequent to my appointment on the Committee of Five, I spoke with the RUF many times. I held meetings with them with the knowledge, consent and acquiescence of ECOWAS.  The United Nations knew because for most of my discussions with the RUF, I spoke with Kofi Annan directly or through his Special Representative in Liberia. Everything I did in Sierra Leone was done with knowledge and consent of ECOWAS and I have documentary evidence to prove that,” Taylor said.

The Committee of Five was set up by ECOWAS with representatives from five West African countries whose mandate was to facilitate a peaceful end to the conflict in Sierra Leone.

Mr. Taylor told judges that he was appointed as Chairman of the Committee of Five because ECOWAS leaders believed he was better placed to negotiate with the RUF rebels, having been a rebel himself. He said that he was actively involved in efforts geared towards bringing Sierra Leone’s conflict to a peaceful conclusion.

Mr. Taylor also told judges that, like other West African leaders, he was part of the decision that foreign governments should not recognize the junta government of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC). For this reason, he said that Liberia did not recognize the AFRC junta regime in Sierra Leone. “There was a decision that the junta should not be recognized. My government did not recognize the junta,” Taylor said.

Mr. Taylor denied allegations that he supplied the AFRC/RUF with arms and ammunition from Liberia, arguing that Liberia did not even have any arms and ammunition for its own armed forces.  He said that “everybody in West Africa and the United Nations knows that Liberia is disarmed and all arms are under lock and key. Security of Liberia is still handled by ECOMOG.”

Mr. Taylor described allegations that he used the RUF rebels to plunder the diamond resources of Sierra Leone as nonsense. Describing with use of a map areas in Liberia where diamonds could be mined, Taylor told the judges that his country is rich in diamonds, bauxite and uranium and would therefore have no reason to turn to Sierra Leone for its own diamond resources. ” I know our potential. I know our wealth.  What am I going into Sierra Leone to do? It is beyond my imagination that anyone would believe that the President of Liberia would go into Sierra Leone. He wants to “terrorize” the people and take their wealth when the vast wealth that we have I have not even touched. It doesn’t make sense. It did not happen. Why do I need to do that? What do I do with the wealth of my own country?” Taylor said.

Mr. Taylor is accused of supporting the RUF rebels in Sierra Leone by collaborating with them to plunder the country’s diamond resources in return for the supply of arms and ammunition. The prosecution alleges that by his acts or omissions Mr. Taylor is responsible for the crimes committed by the rebels in Sierra Leone. Mr. Taylor has denied all the allegations.

Taylor also dismissed prosecution witness Zig Marzah’s testimony that Taylor dined on human intestines as nonsense and blamed the witness’s illiteracy for coming up with such an allegation. “I felt like throwing up when I heard that nonsense from him, and I think even the prosecution were shocked at listening to that foolishness,” he said.

Taylor said that all these allegations against him are “statements of lies, statements of deceit and deception.”

Mr. Taylor’s testimony continues tomorrow.


  1. The only true that come out off Taylor mouth is when he called his name. This man is best at lie.I was in Gbarnga liberia during the war i know all about Taylor lie

    1. You know nothing about Mr. Taylor. What part of Gbarnga were you during the war? If you think that you know Mr.Taylor as well as his involment with the RUF in Sierra Leone, why didn’t you served as one of many hear say prosecution witnesses? I advise that you give some respect to your former president as he educate the world about what when wrong in Sierra Leone. Remember Liberian fought 14 years war, but hands and legs were not chopped off like those criminals did in SL. No Sam, Taylor wouldn’t have supported such uncivilized group ever as a sitting president in Liberia.

      1. One who support or encourage Taylor lie is just another killer. Who make or found the RUF it was Taylor. when the RuF leader came to Gbarnga he never anythings have no shoes, when taylor make him the RUF leader he live was in chief compound gbarnga with a socalled poster and he was loving to her dougher, the girl brother was his first driver

        1. Sam,
          The prosecutors had their says…..HEARSAYS were all we got as EVIDENCE. They will have another chance to reputate what he is saying but you must admit so far, he has demostrated to this court he is NOT a walkover.

    2. I want to use this medium to appeal to all Liberians to restrain themselves from casting a conviction verdict on Taylor prior to the conclusion of the case. The image of this court in particular and international justice at large is also on trial here. So let us give the court the benefit of the doubt that it will be a fair and impartial tribunal. Because in my opinion, the case that the prosecution presented fell immensely short of the reasonable doubt standard. It was the prosecution’s duty to prove that Mr. Taylor had absolute command, control and authority over the RUF and in particular the perpetrators of the alleged crimes for which he is being tried. A mere parading of victims and other amputees does not constitute proof. So let us wait and see. If this court falls short of applying the reasonable doubt standard, Liberia shoud protest the use of its name in as a scapegoat in an international debacle or sting.

  2. Those Liberians pr-judging Mr.Taylor should stop and wait for the final result of the trial. Some of the things that were said by some witness just don’t add up. Mr. Taylor dining with human parts is a lie. I was not a supportor for him during the war and now, but I think all Liberians should pray for a fellow Liberian who is on trial in another country. The entire thing is political. We were all affected by the war, but Mr. Taylor is still a son of Liberia.

    1. I am thinking like Mr. Johnson, only that I do not support him when he mentioned that we should be on the side of Mr. taylor. I suggest that Mr. Johnson talk to people from Naama, Kollieta, Gbansue Ngaikar, Youwee, Bellequa, Varvay and other surrounding villages in the Zota District of Bong County before siding with Mr. Taylor. The farmers of these villages will explain how the RUF trainees terrorized their farms, women and children during their training before going to attack Sierra Leone from their Base in Camp Jackson – Naama, Zota District, Bong County – Liberia. With Foday Sankor, siting proudly on Broad Street (In Mohammed’s shop), Gbarnga – near the main Mousque – recruiting people for his mission in Sierra Leone.
      While Chcarles remain our son (Liberian child), we should be sareful how we connect other inocent/victims with his behavior.

      1. William, that is pure hearsay or you are making up stories. You do not have proof that there was any RUF trainees in Liberia.

      1. I believe we should exercise prudence in our exchange on Mr. Taylor’ situation. The prosecution rested its case because it believed that it had presented an iron-clad case. That was their responsibility – i.e. to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Mr. Taylor is guilty. And we hope the judges will review those proofs using the litmus test of justice-the reasonable doubt standard. That is all one can expect. If on the other hand we observe that this standard was not upheld, Liberia should voice its opinion because the credibility of our country is also at stake.

      2. Sammy I don’t smoke and have no plans of doing so in the future. All I am suggesting is that we stop pre-judging Mr. Taylor and wait for final judgement of the court. You all have no prove that Mr. Taylor is a killer. Did you see him killed? we are all sinners and God forgives us daily. If you think Mr.Taylor is a killer, pray for God to forgive his sin even as the trial goes on.

  3. This is very crazy. What I do believe is that Charles Taylor should not be tried for the crime that was commited in SL, instead he should be tried for crime commited in Liberia. This whole tria is international conspiracy against charles Taylor. During the in SL, there British troops fighting along side Sierra leonian army. Let us look back at the History of what took place in Liberia. Before Taylor started his war in Liberia, he support from the President of Liby, Bokinafaso, and the Ivory coast. Why is that the leaders of those three countries are being tried? The last war that was fought in liberia before Ellen came to power was sponsored by the Guinea government. Why was the president at time was not tried? What I am about to say here is the truth and that is, Before I went into exile in 1993, there were a lot of sierra leonian fighting for ULIMO. I personally saw them in Lofa county. No leader from sierra leone have been blamed. The International community should let this poor man go free and use the money that is being used to pay those people calling themselves Judges. I don’t what they want to hear from this man. Sierra Leonian should held responsible for their own act and to shape blame.

  4. Mr. Taylor your Partial admission to involvement wth the RUF, and the justifications for doing that was because of ECOWAS mandate is simply not clear enought. why is it that no other ECOWAS leaders was accused of being in bed with the RUF but you? these judges are not stupid, lies will get you nowhere.

  5. I might be that what he told by himself was not exactly truth in order to save his own life/soul.

  6. Mr. Taylor is right. Zig Marzah is not just iillterate, but crazy. How would a man sit among civilized people and say such thing about a leader like Mr. Taylor who everyone knows what he is and what he stands for? What a big shame?

  7. Look we all know the real nature behind your prosecution Charles Taylor, it is because of the Diamonds that you are suppose to have in your possession. Why else would you be given $100, 000 a month for your defense? because the court hopes that they will be reimburse heavily.

    While it is true that Sierra Leone has a lot more diamonds than Liberia, you had more than enough diamonds in Liberia to enrich yourself. Besides, I think it was whey cheaper to have mined what you had at your disposal (in Liberia) than to have supported a war just to get diamonds. That is unreasonable, and does not make sense. I personally think that if you supported the war in Sierra Leone then it was not for diamonds but for cause or something else.

    I think the court should just leave you be and set up a similar one in Liberia, or back the TRC. That way, they will get you so easy for war crime charges.

    Well, all I can see as the trial goes on is that you have presented a lot more facts and evidence in a week than the prosecution has in more than a year. I don’t know why it is that way, may be you are really not as guilty as charged. But I await your cross examination by the prosecution.

  8. If Taylor is denying all these allegations that he acquired wealth through arms sales and diamonds, then perhaps he could explain how exactly he did acquire his considerable wealth. Whilst I am aware that the trial does not centre on this point, an explanation is needed if we are to accept these denials. THE MONEY CAME FROM SOMEWHERE.

    1. Fought in Sierra Leone,

      The point is the wealth you are talking about has not been shown by the prosecution. Remember Charles Taylor could not even afford his own private lawyers. If the prosecution had shown the billions Taylor was supposed to have had their case might be a little stronger.

    2. What money and considerable wealth of Taylor you are talking about, Fought in Sierra Leone.

    3. What Money ‘Fought in Sierra Leone’? Do you still believe that this story about considerable wealth is true? Well then I say someone in the international community is either stupid or else unscrupulous. I say this because they are funding the defence of Taylor.

      If anyone know about why the defence of an accused is funded by the court, then they would know that in order for that to happen the court would have to ascertain that the accused is indegent. This means that the accused or defendant has no money to pay for his/ her own defence.

      As we note the court in this case is expending $100,000 per month to the defence team for the defence of Mr. Taylor. This would and could only mean that they know that Taylor has no money. This is their own burden of proof in this regard.

      It only once more points to the way the prosecution has misrepresented facts. Why is it that they have not presented to the Court the evidence of moneys owned by Taylor and avoid the International Community all this money.

      So this is what I mean by them either being stupid or very unscrupulous. Let them not take us to be idiots. If this man had money, they would have brought forward the evidence and would have used the money to pay for this own defence.

  9. Justice will be done and fairly After this trial,The culture of impunity might end in West Africa and the world.To The people of sierra leone i say ‘Justice will take its course”

  10. For over 5 or more years now, the prosecution and UN officials has said that they were searching to bring to light Taylor’s hidden wealth obtained from Liberia and Sierra Leone; but to date they have not found a dime. Taylor has openly challenged any one to show proof that he has so call millons stacked in foreign banks. I still await the results from experts hired to locate Taylor’s alleged hidden funds around the world. Taylor invested all of his monies on arms, security and women. The brother is broke.

  11. This case is getting exciting now that Mr. Taylor himself has taken the stand. It is even more so for me since the past event, the 162nd Independence Day celebrated by Liberia. It should be brought forth to Mr. Taylor that his case is not so much about atrocities that occurred in Liberia, much less of those now forefront from Sierra Leone. This case is about money.

    It is known that many million dollars, perhaps more, are in question—this is what started the whole mess. Is it not true, Mr. Taylor, that there had been in the Doe administration questions of your embezzlement of millions of dollars for which, while hiding in asylum in America that you began to be sought; and, isn’t it alleged that perhaps it was those same monies that facilitated your release from an American prison; and though I do not now pass judgments on anyone for all that transpired during your military and democratically-elected leadership, and further that I now judge no one concerning what human weaknesses would have befallen me had I found myself in possession of or were I over command of millions of dollars such as happened to you during Doe’s administration and thereafter; is it not widely believed, Mr. Taylor, that from the very beginning very many million dollars did come into your hands and pockets? Those monies came from the West, principally the United States but also including Britain, France, Germany and the rest; they also came from China, including Taiwan. Where is the money?

    In your testimony last week, Mr. Taylor, you yourself ironically (or shouldn’t I say hypocritically) asked this very question, “Where is the money?” The question itself will never cease to be asked, “Where is the Liberian people’s money?” This is the very question Prince Johnson asked Samuel Doe and after a few times when there was no satisfactory answer Prince Johnson killed Samuel Doe. Even the past President Bryant was suspected of corruption; this question stands liable to be asked, in the future, of some members of the present administration.

    Millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, may be in your possession now– or you may know their whereabouts. They are right there next door to you and the world, in Swiss banks and elsewhere. Let’s play no more Ferdinand Marco of the Phillipines. Some of these monies might be recovered but I doubt it that any shall ever be useful to you, your relatives or whoever else. These monies had been entrusted to you, Mr. Taylor, to enhance growth and development of young Loma boys and girls in Loffa County as well as other children in all the counties in Liberia. They were not meant to develop only Paynesville, Gardnerville, Brewerville and the other string of villes. If you should look at it conscientiously and by percentage those monies were meant to help all the children in our country, especially my tribal siblings of greater Kpelleland-Liberia. Where is the money?

    The Independence celebrations took place in Gbarnga two days ago. I know you were not there and neither was I but I am not sure if the celebrants had much, if anything, to say about you. And this is the Gbarnga you so luxuriously and lavishly enjoyed during your prominent days. We had much to be thankful for when I was growing up in Gbarnga (back in the Sixties and Seventies)– we had electricity, gas stations, a hospital and a clinic, schools and churches, you name it. I do not know what’s left in Gbarnga today; I can only ask the question ”Where is the money?”

    I cannot see that you can ever be exonerated of the charges now on you, whether or not you give up the money. But perhaps by so doing you could mitigate your circumstances. There is too much money involved and the West wants its money. Good luck to you, Mr. Taylor.

  12. I am completely disappointed at Taylor’s false testimonies in the Hague’s trial. Is it today that Taylor realized that Zigzar Mazar is an illiterate liar? When he empowered these guys to the extend that their voices were voices of small gods. Charles Taylor must faced the full weight of his action in accordance with the international laws egarding criminals as he is.

    1. Did Taylor empower Zigzag Mazarz and the like of others? I believe that Taylor empower the Special Forces and Special Forces empower Zigzag Mazarz and the like of other.

  13. I live in N P F L control area from 1990 to the end of the war.I left liberia 2005 and all the time I was there no one hand or foot was chop off.Seirra leonenian need to hold there leaders responsible for the problem and stop blaming other for it.Taylor do not have a arm factory so why the human right and UN find solution for the problem from the root.STOP THE ARM FACTORY FROM MAKING AND SELLING ARM.

  14. FREE MR Taylor and find the root cause of the problem.The world leaders Play politic with the poor African life and make us to believe that they care about us.

  15. One does not support another person because they are from the same country or continent. Support is usually given based on principles. Enthnicity and race used as a means of support is simply wrong.
    In a court of law, the prosecution has to prove beyond all reasonable doubts that the accused committed the acts that he or has been charged for.
    This particular accused is not your ordinary Joe. This is a man who planned for this day, very cleverly and cunningly. In his mind, he believes that everyone is below him in intelligence.
    As for the money, it has been safely put away in businesses in other people’s names, some has been put in the names of close friends, relatives, and even others may have been paid generously to conceal these funds. This man is no joke, no one should underestimate him. That’s why he has said from day one, that no one will find any money in HIS NAME.
    Sadly, he is using a strategy of lies and more lies to get sympathy and his eventual release. This will not work if the prosecution vigorously deal with him during cross examination. First there was no SBU, then there was. There was no support for RUF, then there was. One question the prosecution should ask him is where is his son Chuckie? He said he is a father of 14 and is a very good person and would never do the things that he is accused of. Why is his son locked up? Is getting one’s son involved in a criminal enterprise that leads to lifetime imprisonment one of the traits of a good father? All you supporters, you are entiltled to your support, but you must admit that this guy did some very evil things. He used many proxies in the execution of his plans and activities. He never went to Sierra Leone to lead the war and the prosecution knows this, but he used others as go between.

    1. Sansee, since you know all of these things and the prosecution have not been able to provide any evidence then why don’t you go to the court to testified. You are representing a distorted understanding based on negative propoganda that has been fed to the world for years about what was going on in SL.

      Why are they not charging the Britishs who opposed the returned of Tejan Kabba? Why are they not charging the Ivory Coast who hosted Foday Sankoh? Why are they not charging ECOMOG or Nigeria for using Liberia’s territory to sponsor war into SL? Yes it is an established fact that the Kamajors was trained in Liberia and sent into SL to fight war by ECOMOG?

      So why Charles Taylor? It is clear: simply because Taylor has always been interested in the equality of rights for the African people. Remember that sacred American creed that “all men are created equal.”

  16. Ladies and Gentlemen of West Africa and the diasopra. Please give a chance for the court to conclude with both the cross examination and rebuttal by both sides before jumping to conclusions.You should also be aware that the defence was not successful in completly discrediting the prosecutions case when they had the chance to cross examine them.

  17. The charges that were brought in front of the special court would have some merit only “if the case was brought to the court by the Liberian” but with SL the prosecution cases is somewhat hearsay.
    1. The defend so far have presented some heard evident that show that Mr. Taylor involvement was through the consent of ECOWAS
    2. The defend stated the United Nation knew about MR. Taylor communication with the RUF and
    3. The defend deny the prosecute statement that Mr. Taylor supply RUF and AFRC of SL with arm by saying that Liberia arm where taking by ECOMOG good point
    So the defend same to have a point.

    1. The prosecutor presented their cases without having any Liberian testifies that they were present when Mr. Taylor decided to some Liberian to fright with RUF or AFRC
    2. By the prosecutor paying witness to come forward put some hole in their cases. Why? Because under that term people will come forward and say anything just to get money to feel their family because people in SL saw this as an opportunity to get money.
    3. The prosecutor cases were bases of he/ she said.

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