In a dramatic day of testimony, former Liberian president Charles Taylor told of his 1985 escape from an American maximum security jail with alleged United States government help, only days before a failed US-backed coup attempt to overthrow the then Liberian government.
With his prison cell unlocked by a US prison guard late one night in November 1985, Taylor walked out of the maximum security area of the Plymouth County Correctional Facility in Massachusetts, he told the Special Court for Sierra Leone today. Taylor said he was escorted by the same guard to the minimum security area. Tying a sheet to a window, Taylor climbed out the window and over the prison fence, where a car containing two men was waiting to whisk him to New York, he said.
Taylor told the court that he believed the guard who set him free “had to be operating with someone else.” Taylor also said he assumed that the car that took him to New York “had to be a [US] government car” because the men driving him feared he may be “picked up” if Taylor changed cars to be with his then wife, who had driven to meet the escape car with money to get Taylor out of the country.
Taylor was in US custody in 1985 pending a US government decision on an extradition request by the Liberian government on charges of embezzlement.
Taylor’s escape took place only days before his friend and Liberian military leader, Thomas Quiwonkpa, staged an unsuccessful coup against the Liberian government of President Samuel Doe in November 1985. Taylor alleged that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was working with, and arming, Quiwonkpa to overthrow the Doe government in the months leading up to the coup attempt.
Taylor told the court that he was “one hundred percent positive” that the weapons Quiwonkpa was using “were paid for by the CIA.”
Taylor later went on to describe his efforts to recruit a total of 168 men and women to be part of his National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) group to undertake military training in a former US military base in Libya between 1987 and 1989. Taylor told the court that the training aimed to produce a “well-trained and disciplined force” which were “trained in the laws of war” and could “work with the local population” in Liberia.
His overall aim, Taylor said, was for the NPFL to support the Liberian people in staging a revolution in Liberia and then “to submit ourselves to fair and free elections.”
Taylor told the court that for a revolution to be successful, he would have to rely on the civilian population in Liberia. He said it would be “stupid to terrorize civilians” because he would “lose their support.”
He also described the separation of military and civilian activities when he eventually attacked Liberia in 1989, telling the court that military people who carried out atrocities would be dealt by military courts under the military justice code.
In speaking of the NPFL in the 1980s, Taylor also said that he “did not encourage any children under the age of 17 to be involved in military activities.”
Charges against Taylor by the Special Court include, among others, the war crime of terrorizing the civilian population, and the conscription, enlistment and use of child soldiers under 15 years of age (categorized as other serious violations of international humanitarian law) in neighboring Sierra Leone after November 30, 1996.
Taylor continues his testimony tomorrow.
President Ghankay Taylor, Bravo to you. It is time for you to show Uncle Sam and others that you are a great leader and that their campaign to condem you to death or life time in prison is a failure. We are watching you day and night and please be yourself and defend yourself beyond all reasonable doubts. Freedom awaits you soon so that you can come back to complete your dream for Liberia. God bless you and your family.
what dreams; do not speak of a murderer as some inspiration of hope.Charles Taylor got what he deserves. His freedom got taken away and he will for ever be in jail until his death. And based on his age that for sure. How can one man take so much from so many? well as a say what goes around comes around. Enjoy your stay in jail Taylor or should I say murderer.
Please let this trial be free and fair, Liberians did not sent their former president to the hague. Serria Leoneons sent the former president of Liberia to the hague, leaving their leaders out of the trial completely but Liberians are watching.
No Pres. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf did….she asked for him under the FALSE pretense. For her to treat a former leader just because of money is a DISGRACE. Do you know she made sure that Mr. Taylor, a citizen of the Republic of Liberia, was NOT given his CONSTITUTIONAL DUES to petition the courts of Liberia to fight trial??
Why isn’t former Pres. Kabah NOT on trial?? I have searched for answers but it seems like NO one knows why?? His deputies are locked up; they told the court that they got ORDERS from him but he’s walking FREELY. According to the last witness the prosecutors put on the stand said his limbs were chopped off by the army of Sierra Leone with was headed by Pres. Kabah.
Where is JUSTICE???
It is true that the cells in the U.S are well built and equipped and breaking through them are less likely. However, 99.9 percent pf those who break jail in the U.S are caught or killed. We all know that the United States was fully behind the Liberian Civil War. Did Taylor fly out of the U.S with a false passport? come on!!! Set Taylor free and investigate the U.S. A.
Many speculated that the US government assisted Taylor’s release from jail in the United States to unseat the then Samuel Doe government. However, during factional fighting in Liberia – where three factions original fought the war (NPFL of Charles Taylor, INPFL of Prince Johnson, and AFL of Samuel Doe) – Charles Taylor accused the United States of supporting INPFL against his NPFL.
Taylor literally abused the United States but never mentioned that the United States assisted his release from jail. Most of Taylor’s utterances against the United States were very abusive and undiplomatic. The world and the Liberian public were very anxious to know how Taylor got released from a U.S. jail.
Throughout Taylor’s rebel days, he did not speak close to any suspicion that Uncle Sam gave him an early bird pass out of jail to launch an attack on Samuel Doe. During Taylor’s legitimate presidency he had the widest window of opportunity to speak to the world press that United States abetted his release from jail.
But I think he felt embarrassed to craft such a LIE that the United States assisted his release from jail. Taylor is making these latest revelations of incrimination to muddy the water for or splash the red oil on many people in order to win to win public sympathy.
This is one of his strategies designed to curry favor and win public sympathy against the backdrop that the United States facilitated his release from jail and supported his war machinery against both Liberia and Sierra Leone. This latest strategy can sell only to his supporters as well as other narrow-minded individuals who prejudice the United States.
Can Taylor’s latest allegations against the United States pass the moral and ethical test to take orders from the United States to exterminate and dismember countless number of Sierra Leonean people?
Well one thing u sould know people cannot just a maximum security cell in this country with out the help of someone in the system,so think about what he said.
did the MY Government the US try to look for him after he broke out.
please people if u want to charge taylor and put him in jail let it be for what he did in liberia not what sierra lonian did to them selfs.
Harry Mason, majority of Liberian has been saying for many years, probably from the time it was release in the news that Taylor had escaped from a maximum-security prison in the USA, the USA Government has something to do with it because the USA Government wanted Doe dethroned. Why now, you hear it straight from the source you want to say it is not true? Where were you all these years this was just a rumor?
Where do you live my dear friend Mason, in Utopia. American prisons are fortified and escapes are not easy. Even the few that escapes are immediately re-arreasted. The logic is that Taylor did not want to anger the Americans more as he had already provoked them due to is intransigence.
Since when does America have the moral authority in wars. Look what happened to Iraq under George Bush. They invaded a sovereign country on lies and false pretense. Look what happened to Chuckie Taylor under George Bush. He was sentenced to 97 years for allegedly doing the same types of torture that Bush and Cheney okayed the CIA to use in interrogations.
I am not sure of your nationality but if you are African you seem to be one of those who believes everything the West tells you.
If you really worked and lived in Liberia. You know full well that Charles Taylor never broke jail out of the United States. Your analysis of why then did Taylor accuse America of supporting other rebel factions later is flawed. Playing all sides is the history of America. I guess you don’t believe that America was behind the overthrow of President William R. Tolbert either.
Why do you say Mr. Taylor is telling a Lie. Do you not know anything about the NPFL where it was founded and the founding members? It was never founded by Charles Taylor.
Besides, Charles Taylor did not posses the resource to have broken a Maximum Security Prison in the USA. Did you not hear one of Samuel Doe’s last speech? Did you not hear him accusing the US of backing the Taylor led forces.
Look gentlemen, the entire court war court is just a fiasco. If this court was really protecting humanity as it claims all human nations should be submitted to it. Why cant Americans be persecuted by the court? Do you know that most and almost all of those wanted by the court are africans. Why cant this court be on the soil of Africa, like South Africa for example. Why does it has to be in Europe. Do you know that the court gives Charles Taylor about a 100,000 dollar a month to prepare for his defense, and how long has it been 24 months now?
why is Kaaba still walking free? People in the court following his orders directly performed the same mutilation. Why is Taylor being held? I think it is all about the Diamonds um? That is why the court is giving him 100 thousand a month because they hope to find those diamonds and get their money back.
Brothers from Sierra Leone, I sincerely regret what happen in your country but don’t blame Charles Taylor for what happen there and I strongly feel that if Charles Taylor should be tried he should be persecuted for what he contributed to in his country Liberia. What happen in Liberia is not better then what happen in Sierra Leon. Then if Charles Taylor should be blame then so should the people who created him, the people who finance him, the people who sold him weapons, why have they not been indited too? Oh but know this any American that is involved in what ever way is not going to be answerable to that court, is that Justice?
Hey, don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate America, I love America in fact I wish I was an American my self so that my country can protect me. You see how E. Johnson was pressure into turning Charles over? But the thing is she may have to go there too.
His STORY is been told……and it’s AMAZING about what he heard about him……..Again, he holds NOTHING back and let the world know the TRICK and TREAT of this mess that was played out by the CIA.
As to the American, CIA involvement yes this may very well all be true HOWEVER, how do we explain all the young rebel soldiers indirectly following orders Mr. Charles Taylor. If he did not encourage them (men and women under 17) to fight, he did not do enough as a “rebel leader”/military leader to dissuade them. Children fighting and killing adults and other innocent people is wrong and as the “family man” he proclaims to be, he should have discouraged it strongly. How can we believe he didnt encourage them to participate when his own son was known as the worst terrorist during the war?
Futhermore, Mr. Taylor if you are not ready to take the blame. Who do you expect should? Are you hoping the court will find the US somehow guilty of tampering in Liberian affairs? Sounds a little immature to think so…that after 14 years of what you call a revolution movement so many innocent people died with no just cause…besides what “a revolution”.
When we talk about this revolution, can we please be frank and discuss how the need for a “revolution” even came to fruition. The ugly truth is many “Americo-Liberians” privileged and otherwise endowed were reaping unfair benefits and advantages over the indigenous population that were there before these “freed slaves” were brought to the land. In other words, keeping this population away from the power that was often being abused!
The ugly truth is many indigenous Liberians were being denied jobs, benefits, and other opportunities for advancement in this pre-war Liberia.
The culminating result?
A man unfortunately with an 8th grade education but with indigenous background came to the forefront (orchestrated by others who guided him) to help levy the previously unfair/segregated system.
Here is when we propose the CIA became involved? It is my belief that somebody had to beckon upon the US to start meddling or chances are they wouldn’t have. Let’s be frank about that. Now we want to put “blame” on America? Yes the CIA often makes situations in other countries worse, we as Liberian people should have faced that ugly truth before inviting their aide in a so called “revolution” against Doe. This CIA backed movement somehow involved the chopping off of a man’s ears? My fellow Liberians wake up!
Stop using America as the excuse. Stop using America as the reason for these problems. I hope with this war and this trial, in the future when there is dissension against political practices, it can be orchestrated in a way that is both democratic, transparent, and honest. We read in the papers everyday about protests against unfair elections, or an unfair president, and petitions for other nations to help realize the injustice. Maybe if we took these steps to begin with. We wouldn’t have covert training operations in Libya, and alleged CIA backing stories, but instead honest and more efficient ways of contesting a ruling power.
It is my firm belief that the Liberian people should definitely also push for indictment against Taylor. Yes his own people, b/c the truth is too many of them are still terrorized and scared to speak up about who the real terror is. To many that man is Charles Taylor. Let justice be served!
Concerned Liberian in the US,
What you stated is mostly true. However the great United States that you now live in did worst things to the original inhabitants the American Indians ie: forced extermination, removal from land germ warfare ( giving them blankets that were infected with small pox), pillage etc.
Concerned Liberian in the U.S.
Thanks for you valuable insight and contribution.
This case is NOT about Liberia….the only reason why he’s telling us about Liberia for now is because the prosecutors brought in MESS about Liberia in the trial and he’s setting the RECORD straight as he knows it.
Let’s wait when he goes into the many many witnesses testimonies than the REAL fire works start.
Concerned Liberian in the US,
Thank you for your comments. I spent some time in Sierra Leone in 2002. The total devistation and the heart breaking stories haunt me to this day. My heart and prayers are that justice will prevail.
Is this the excuse to kill your own people”USA assisted me?” Shame on you Mr. Killer and liar! Just make space for your financier Jezebel Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She will be joining you soon.
What was the excuse of ULMO, LURD AND MODEL (Liberian) who killed Liberian? They use the same reasons for attacking their own government as Taylor. Therefore, what makes them right and Taylor wrong? You need to research the meaning of a “Civil War” and what it entails.
Taylor coming back to liberia to govern who? SUMO GOYAH (the guy that made the first comment) if you believe your former president have not done enough to our country than u can kindly join him on trial. This man is evil and does not have Liberia at heart. people like Sumo and his beloved ex president are the ones that have Liberia in such a mess.
Hey, Hey Guys,
Why are you guys being Naive… Why Blame Taylor? Was it Taylor who killed most of the People In Liberia. Was it not Liberian themselves, people that had grudge and animosity for one another. Was it Taylor who told the Krahn to Kill the Gio and Mano, Or was it Taylor that told the Gio and Mano to kill the Krahn and Mandingo? Was it Only Taylor who had Child Soldiers? Was not Samuel Doe having them especially from his own tribe during the time close to Monrovia being under seige and so was all the other warring factions most of whom were back by the USA? If you would blame Taylor for giving guns to people who killed others even though they themselves should be held responsible for it, why not blame the people that give Taylor guns too that would be only fair. Besides if you are going to blame Taylor for what Sierra leoneans did to them selves why not blame America for what Liberians did to themselves because in both situations it is alleged that arms were giving to fight for liberation though it has not been proven.
Leave ethnicity out of this. There were indigenous Liberians involve in the governance of Liberia long before you and I were born. Why was Tolbert killed then? He who identified himself to be a native. During his regime most of the indigenous Liberian you see educated today had the opportunity to study abroad. Was not Jackson Doe a minister for the Late president Tolbert.Look the truth of the matter is this the americo Liberians were the majority of the educated ones then, so they had to have most of the positions, as bad as it may seem this was true. Who encourage the native people to get into politics was it not Tolbert? What did he get as a result? When the price of rice had to be increased because the cost of living had increased over the world and because America had withdrawn her support from the Tolbert Government because of the Government’s stand on international issues regarding many things, like choosing friends with the east and siding against Israel occupation of the Arab lands. Barcus Matthew said that it was because ‘ Tolbert’s brother was the importer of rice and the president had a share in the business so he was doing so to enrich himself… but we all see what happened after… was the rice price reduced after he was killed or did it increase? Was it now a Liberian who was importing rice to your country Liberia and enriching himself or a foreigner? Thirteen persons were executed (some of whom were even in their graves) for embezzlement but how many Minister of Samuel Doe could have had the same fate… in fact do you know that Samuel Doe’s Government was the most corrupt one prior to the war? Do you know that Samuel Doe ruler ship received the highest amount of grant and donation from the US then any other previous government? Do you know that there were more nepotism practice in the Doe regime then that of Tolbert. Sorry to say this to you but even though Tolbert practice nepotism during his rule but his relatives were educated and thus qualify which was unlike that of Samuel Doe. Had Samuel Doe brothers been educated then would it not have been worse?
Look the truth of the matter is this, America has been behind it all. When Tolbert saw it and was promoting African unity and drew away from the US who was just using Liberia, they got rid of him. When Doe who was the friendliest president with them realize the same thing and was pulling away they tried to get rid of him and they did. When Liberians expected America to intervene and prevent a lot of damage that even extended to sierra Leon the cold war was over. America never needed Liberia for any thing so they just stood and look. Not like what the british did in Sierra Leon nor what the French did in Ivory coast . Well thank God for Ecomog.
Everybody in Liberia knows that Taylor was released by the Americans in 1985. How does this justify the support he gave the RUF? I was in Liberia throughout his Presidency. Infact I was in Monrovia when he came and became Vice Council Man. I saw everything that he did in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Is the Americans who told him to have Sam Boukarie moving freely between Liberia nd Sierra leone? Is it the Americans who told to order his bandits to kill and slaughter Boukarie alias Mosquito?
Taylor needs to be banished in the cell for life.
if you saw everything then why aren’t you giving first hand testimony at the hague?
No Feetah, Sierra Leone did not send Mr. Taylor to the Hugue, but Ellen Johnson did in order to receive used generators from Ghana under EU sponsorship to live up to her promise that she could restore electricity to Liberia in six months. But all we have is street lights in some part of Monrovia. The west will always instruct leaders like Ellen to do what they want in Africa. Ma Ellen will forver remain a pupet to America. She sold her brother for street lights but yet we sleep in darkness with hunger and armed robbers every where, what a shame? God will fight Taylor battle. After all, Ellen is not better then Mr. Taylor. Let’s wait and see the end this case.
Above all comments, only God Almighty knows the true of this cause. Let us see the future of this underful trial of Charles Taylor.
I have just started in the last couple of years to learn about the wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia, so I am sure there is much that I do not know about it. However, there is one thing I do know…I will never own or wear a damned diamond. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if the US was a part of this (the government, I already know that my countrymen and women are rabid for for African resources, whatever the cost to human life) as I know that most of this world is run by corrupt, money hungry people who care little for their countrymen and only for their pockets. I hope this is resolved with justice, but it is my understanding that the RUF members of Sierra Leone were PAID to put down arms, while the victims of their cimes are left to languish. I really hope both countries can find some peace.
That said, PLEASE, my fellow westerners,wake up to what we are doing with our dollars. I know it’s impossible to lead a completley guilty-free life, our culture has become such that we can only buy products that cause pain to others, but seriously, the MTV/Hollywood fueled obession we have developed for things like the ‘rich and famous’ own is driving war in MANY countries. Your HDTV has helped war, your diamond jewelry…so many things WE DON’T NEED!!!!! Don’t just blow it off as another radical, bleeding heart liberal running her mouth, do some damned research, watch some documentarys, learn about where your dollars are going and how you spend them. Just start being aware! Perhaps if this consummerist society can lose it’s rabid need for ‘things’, all of our governments can lose some of their power to be corrupt.
i understand where you are going with not wearing diamonds. BUT then you would have to swear off of the following to avoid supporting the exploitation of third world countries:
anything made of rubber i.e. car, bus etc.
clothing now made in third world countries
electronic gadgets that are assembled or depend on live support from third world countries i. e. computers
see where i’m going…
Sorry for the misspells, my keyboard is dying on me!
My comment is very short and to the point. Charles Taylor must stop repeating his tricks by calling names of the US. His trial his about his involvement into Sierra Leone. Some of us in Nimba vividly saw Taylor in 1990 moving along with Faday Sankor, Mosquito and other terrorists involved in he notorious war in Sierra Leone war. Taylor is a criminal and continues to be crminal even under international oath. Hurry up and sentence him.
As usual Taylor has extended his trademark beyond the borders of Liberia, LIES, LIES. Veterans War correspondence and photo journalist has documented footage and photographs of the used of CHILD SOILDERS in Liberia by Taylor. Yet he tells us Liberians that live and saw these things that they never existed.
Who were the Small Boys Units, commonly called SBU?
Taylor is very good at the “disinformation, misinformation, lies, rumors” that he accuses the prosecution of.
I am quite dismay and disheartened by Sumo Goyah Statements. I spent the whole war in Liberia, and we all saw the atrocities committed by Taylor and his draculan forces. Lets examine that facts here. First, when Taylor asserts that he was aided by the CIA, I believe he is disengenious. I say this unequivocally to stressed that people break jail in the US all the time, and at that time there was not much technology to track prisoners as there is now. Mr Goyah, Have you been to Plymouth County Prison? I gues not. I have and took a tour when I immigrated to the US just to see the prison Taylor broke from. I saw the jail cell that Taylor was in. Second, by seeing two men in a car taking you out without questioning them is very irrational, and I believe Taylor is very street smart. Lets connect the dots. The Taylor we know sat in the car with two men and did not ride with his wife, and did not ask questions. Taylor is LYING. Third, when Taylor suggests that his men were above and beyond the age of 17 is a blatant LIE. We all saw child soldiers in Liberia. Taylor even had a “small boys unit” (SBU) in Gbarnga. And as a result of this SBU, the youths of Liberia is a generation behind today. Mr Goyah, I advised that you travel to Liberian now and make your assessment on Liberian youths. Specifically so, I am a victim of Taylor’s War. I am in my early thirties now and doing my MBA. I graduated High School at the age of 17 and could not stayed at the University of Liberia because it was insufficiently funded and the university could not run two semesters in one year.. This insufficiency of funds for the University transpired when Taylor was President, while his children was in Switzerland and the US going to school. He (Mr Taylor) robbed all of us of our exemplary higher institutions of learning.
I think the Liberian people and the international community knows the pathological lying patterns of Mr Taylor. For your enlightenment Mr Goyah, I will explicate a few.
1. Taylor call the BBC and told the World that Prince Johnson was dead. Even when Prince called the BBC afterwards, Mr. Taylor told the world again that it was Abel Kato who had called the BBC, and not Prince Johnson. Contemporarily, we all know that Prince Johnson is alive today.
2. Mr. Taylor signed many Peace Accords and he lied that he did not. For example, he signed the Geneva Accord, and he reneged and told the world that he signed under duress, when we all saw the signing ceremony. Again, he signed the Bamako Accord, and then reneged and said he did not.
3. Mr. Taylor presented his platform to the Liberian people in the 1997 Presidential Election–Vision 2012. He did not achieved anything but only lies, deception, killings, and crimes against the Liberian people.
Also, we were all behind Taylor so-called lines in “Greater Liberia”. Sincerely, Foday Sankoh was in Gbarnga with Taylor.
Mr. Goyah, I have a question for you, Do you really know Charles Taylor? Have you met Charles Taylor? Have you listen to Taylor talk one on one with you?
I am from Arthington just like Mr Taylor, and I have met him. Let me tell you he is very cunning, evil, crooked, selfish, flamboyant, only thinks about himself.
Thanks for your contribution. I learnt a lot from your posting.
Good luck with your MBA.
the truth is that liberia’s problems started when pres. Tolbert was assasinated by savages! The trial of charles taylor is more about the actions of an african leader that defied the west more so than what happened in SL. NOTHING about what happened in Liberia.
By the way the Uof Liberia is still in shambles and began its decline when doe ascended. Honestly, you sound like you have been miseducated and not educated.
We can not blame the U.S. for the failure of our leaders.. Taylor had all the chances after he was elected President.. being part of the new world order by rectifying the wrongs, built international partnerships, jobs creation, educations for his fellow countrymen and opportunities for all!!! instead, he created a state of fears, suffering for his own people and just a few elite group of closed associates toasted upon the riches of Liberia..I am very sorry but the man decided to blow all his chances in the drain..
what will the court do with all of those individuals, institutions and countries that supported charles taylor.shame on ellen johnson serleaf and the west. she lacks the morals to serve as a president.
Pres Obama recently spoke clearly about people like Charles Taylor in Ghana. He said that the United States government will no longer create strong men but rather strong institutions in Africa. The days of Taylor and people like him are over whether convicted or indicted the Liberian people need peace, let the ICC find a place to contain Taylor away from Liberia.
What bothers me about this entire process is that…..It was Liberians that fought and kill Liberians during the Liberian civil war. The people from the other side of the border fought and kill themselves. Why are they being stupid, and believing this big lie that Charles Taylor brought war on them. Sierra Leonians fought and kill themselves, if they can not accept this, then this is stupidity. Sierra Leonians have to come up and tell the world that they fought their own war, and that Taylor should not be blamed for this. Some of those Sierra Leonians that kill their people are living in the US, and they know the truth.
What you are talking now is rubish. It seems that you are confused. be a man and tell the world your evil deals. You made Liberians and Sierra Leoneans your slaves for 14 unbroken years. Didn’t you think that your day would come?
The good lord knows that you will not go unpunished for making innocent children limbless in Sierra Leone, beheading people for you selfish gains. I am one Liberian who wants to see you die like the many that you kill without remorse.
God punish you satan.
J Walts,I’m a Sieera Leonean who know for sure Sierra Leoneans don’t take orders from Liberians in any capacity(Its not in their make up)…but for money they’ll take orders from the West,So Charles Taylor may have co-operate with the RUF but not dictate or lead them to do anything .Foday Sankoh was the man that cause the war in Sierra Leoane not Charles Taylor ..if Charles Taylor have anything to answer for,it must be for the war in Liberia not Sierra Leone….The Sierra Leone government has merely acted as an accomplice to a Western Lead Verndetta against Mr Taylor….As Mr Taylor is got issues with Uncle Sam…(The CIA)
Let’s assume u are saying the true about the US freeing u and backing u for the war.
Were you told to open the stomach of pregnant women to see what kind of fetus they were carrying or were you told by the US that Sierra Leone was Liberia?
Tot your own tail monkey.
That’s my problem.If some one or a group of people sent you with a specific function(In war situation)to execute,does it mean you dont have a sence of thinking?Mr.Taylor claimed he was sent yes we agreed.Where was his judgement?people died,bullets were music in our ears,we suffered and suffered!I feel like crying when I think about those days.Like many others,I lost my father during this senseless war.Ok,it’s over now and justic must take its term.My only joy will be to watch Taylor and others trial for crimes committed in Liberia.
I feel sad that an x african head of state should be treated in this manner. this case is just a formality. taylor has already been found guilty, irrespective of whatever defence he brings forward. The war in s/leon was sad, but then things happens. for example, take a look at isrealies and the gaza bombing, bush and iraq killings of innocent civilians based on false lies. Let this be a lesson to all africans, let us not hurt ourselves anymore. we need to continue to strive for more military strenght and economic stability, then we can call the shot like the usa.
Recieve Taylor’s autterances as educative and be positioned to decern the facts as they are presented. America’s role in the ill-transformation of Liberia is evident and its critical to ensure that policimakers are well aware of this menace before hand.
i think it will be right for the Americans to also send Mr Bush to the court for all the wrongs things he has done to this our world.African leader betrayed Charles Taylor which is very bad,what did Charles Taylor do wrong anyway?please leave the innocent man alone.
Currrently these are baseless allegations. Saying that you are sure of something in a court of law is useless. We need proof. Unless Taylor can prove that Quiwonkpa’s weapons were provided by the US, then this is a non-starter. It may subsequently be proven that there was US involvement – but I’m still waiting to see evidence.
As for ‘fair and free elections’, Taylor had his chance to make these happen. Did he do that? No.
We need proof, proof and more proof.
MY DEAR FORMER PRESIDENT,
ONCE AGAIN I HAIL YOU MY AFRICAN BROTHER FOR ONCE IN HISTORY TO EXPOSE THE BIGGER HANDS, THE SAME HANDS THAT ALLEDGELY KILLED PRESIDENT TOLBERT.
MANY OF US HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS DAY, THIS DAY THAT THE TRUTH ABOUT YOUR ALLEDGE ESCAPE FROM THE PRISON IN AMERICA. I FOR ONE NEVER BELIEVED IN THE STORY OF YOUR ESCAPE BUT RATHER KNEW THAT THERE WERE BIG HANDS INVOLVED.
YOU ARE SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT AND EVEN IF THE COURST IN THE HAGUE DECIDE TO IMPRISON FOR SOMETHING THAT I AS A LIBERIAN DO NOT BELIEVE IS FACTUAL, EVERY GENERATION AFTER THIS GENRATION WILL BE ON ALERT FOR UNCLE SAM.
I AM VERY PROUD OF YOU AS A FORMER LEADER, DESPITE THE FACT THAT DUE TO THE WAR DURING YOUR REGIIME DID NOT PERMIT YOU TO FORCUS MUCH ON ANY OTHER THING EXCEPT THE SECURITY OF THE LIBERIAN PEOPLE.
I ALSO WANT THE WORLS TO KNOW THAT THE GREAT UNCLOE SAM HAVE BEEN BEHIND EVIL HAPPENINGS IN AFRICA AND THEY GO FREE WITHOUT ANY ONE ASKING THEM QUESTION TALKLESS OF TAKING THEM TO COURT. FOR EXAMPLE, GEORGE BUSH CLAIMED THAT IRAQ HAD WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION BUT UP TO TODAY THAT WE SPEAK, THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT HAVE PROVEN THAT YET. INSTEAD THEY WERE INVOLVED IN GIVING FOOD FOR OIL. KOFFI ANANN SON WAS BUSY SELLING CRUDE OIL AND MAKING MONEY FROM TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN IRAN AND IRAQ.
MY DEAR AFRICAN BROTHERS, WE SHOULD NEVER LET UNCLE SAM OR AUNTY MARY DISGRACE ANY OF OUR PRESIDENTS AGAIN. WE NEED TO STAND UP FOR OUR RIGHT, UNITY AND RECLAIM OUR FREEDOM.
THE DAYS OF SLAVERY IS OVER AND WE NEED TO REMIND OURSELVES THAT WE ARE VERY INDEPENDENT AND MORE RESOURCEFUL THAN THE WESTERN WORLD. THEY DEPEND ON OUR NATURAL RESOURCES TO BUILD THEIR COUNTRIES.
MY DEAR AFRICAN BROTHERS, LIKE THE LIBERIAN LOCAL SAYING GOES “SHINE YOUR EYES”
ONCE AGAIN, FORMER PRESIDENT CHARLES TAYLOR , 21ST PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA, I HAIL YOU. GOD BLESS YOU.
The last I remember, Taylor was never held at a maximum detention facility but a minimal one. He was being held while the Government of Samuel Doe was seeking his extradition to LIberia for corruption charges. His lawyer, Ramsey Clarke had argued that Taylor could not get a free and fair trial in Liberia. I can not accept Taylor’s argument that his escape from prison was assisted by the CIA. Like one of the comments above, he had ample time to inform the Liberian people about how he left prison. One of the reasons why Taylor never visited the US while he was President was because of a standing order to have him arrested for jail break, which was issued by the Plymouth, Massachusetts Sheriff office.
It is not surprising that Mr. Taylor will concoct all kinds of argumentation to defend himself. That is reasonable after all he may have to spend the rest of his life in prison. However, anyone watching these hearings closely will, no doubt establish that Mr. Taylor appear to be blaming everyone else but himself. Isn’t that what people like him always do? You can see that Mr. Taylor’s effort to tell lies would not hold water. His comeuppance is upon him. Like they say, do the crime, do the time.
Ezekiel, thanks for your fine analysis. I am surprised as how naive most of us can be. What we are seeing from Taylor is what the Brit’s proverbially refer to as “the last kick of a dying horse.” He is going to throw everything, even the kitchen sink, if he believes it will earn him some sympathy. If the Americans had released Taylor he had ample opportunity to tell the world prior to this trial. If Ellen was his chief financeer, he also had the opportunity to tell the Liberian people that; especially during the 1997 elections that they both contested. I won’t be surprised if by the end of the testimony he accuses God of telling him to commit the crimes he committed. After all, who can convict a man for carrying on God’s work? One thing is certain, the international community will not spen millions of dollars on a trial to have a butcher like Taylor walking around here free. This is his last opportunity to glow in the limelight so we’ll sit back and enjoy the theather. At the end of it all, he will be just where his son is-in prison for the rest of his miserable life. At least he had the opportunity to face his accusers and tell his side of the story. The likes of Jackson Doe and Steven Yekeson (may their souls rest in peace) did not have that chance. May Taylor’s roast in hell!
The CIA has many strange bedfellows, especially during that time of proxy wars in Africa. Please explain the timing between his jailbreak and the Quiwankpa coup attempt. Coincidence? Perhaps. Perhaps not. This onion has many layers, and I would not casually dismiss Mr. Taylor’s testimony, but rather apply critical thinking within the context of all the players involved. Read Stephen Ellis’, Mask of Anarchy and other books and overlay Mr. Taylor’s testimony over those scholarly works. Meanwhile…other warlords, leaders, finaciers of the NPFL and other former factions walk the halls of power in Liberia, while this single one is tried in The Hague for all their misdeeds. Civil War is an ugly proposition, there are very rarely any clean hands among international, regional, or country actors.
What we want to hear from you is your involvement in raising funds for Mr. Taylor rebellion when you were living in the Washington D.C. Area.
Thanks for the comment. One question for you. Is Taylor being tried for war crimes committed against Liberians? Well, the answer is no. That is the reason why I as a Liberian ,do not support this trial. Sierra Leonians lives are not better than Liberians. This is a shame on us Liberians. Whether you like it or not, Taylor is our former president. With all the atrocities the Isrealites are commiting against the Palestinians, none has been dragged to the war courts. Recently U.S. soldiers did the same in Iraq. No one is even making the attempt to take them to the same court. The supporters of the war court in the Hague are American citizens. If they are so much against war crimes, why don’t they arrest and take the U. S. soldiers to the same court in the Hague. Ezekiel, open your eyes, and ears, think, think, think, my man!
Look socalled concerned citizen in the USA. You’re asking about so many young rebel soldiers following the orders of Charles Taylor; I want to remind you that many of those children parents were killed by Doe Soldiers and many of those Children decided to fight against him ( Doe ). Charles Taylor alone didn’t used young people as Soldiers even my very self was recruited into the Liberian Army against my will on4Feb. 1990 while coming home from church in the even. I was 17 years old by then.
The way I was treated by the Doe Soldiers, I could have gotten myself involve with the war but I didn’t, thank God that I was able to leave Monrovia for Sanoyeah Bong County. Today, I am serving in the US Military. Some of the Children fighting for Charles Taylor were sent by their parents as well to joined the rebels and I hope you know that. In as much as I don’t like Taylor and some of the things his rebels did, I think he was wrongly accuse by the international community because Taylor lost control of the western border in late 1991 to ULIMO fighting from Sierra Leone.
How was RUF getting supplies when Taylor didn’t control the border between Sierra Leone and Liberia? From Sierra Leone to Lofa County, down to port river bridge were control by Kromah and his ULIMO rebels faction. Concerned citizen as you may call yourself….. It’s seem as if you don’t know much that happened in Liberia during the War. Where in Liberia did the NPFL rebels cut the hands of Liberians? There were people from Sierra Leone fighting in Liberia that Taylor didn’t know about because they spoke the same tribes as other Liberians. They spoke Kissi, mande, vai, loma and madango but they were not Liberian, so, what make you think they couldn’t have gone back to Sierra Leone to fight there claiming that they were Liberians instead of Sierra leonean? So my people let God decide for Mr. Taylor and those who supported him from the USA to liberia will have their days by God Grace!
As much as I dislike Taylor, I must agree that this is hogwash. The atrocities carried out in SL in no way, shape or form resembled what was carried out in LIB. There is no evidence of mass mutilation in LIB – no evidence of short sleeve or long sleeve amputations. Yes, killings, tahbaying and raping occurred but not to the extent of what happened in SL. The methodologies utilized appear to be very different. With SL being in such close proximity to LIB, one would assume that the strategies utilizied in both countries would be very similar, if not the same. We have similar backgrounds and way of life – so why didn’t Taylor implement what was so ‘successful’ in SL in LIB. If the international community wants to bring charges against Taylor, they should do so using what he did in LIB and not concoct stories. The end does not justify the means.
My Dear Brother Manson, you have to re-do your study on this Taylor’s issue, obviously, your accusations are personal against our president. America have no right of releasing Taylor, as they were told by the than Doe’s government to detained him for his embezzlement in capitalism. Again, no one escapes a US maximum prison without apprehension, and We all know that Uncle Sam always in this form, when doing a dirty business in countries he has constant power over. The CIA is a well organize agency of the US government that is very straight with crime like this. Now tell me Since November, 1985, what answer do the US government gives the Liberian people concerning someone they were told to jail until further proceeding by the government of Liberia? Yet still they judging Taylor because the felt their deals with this dude will one day be known to the World. If America is judging Taylor because he committed an atrocities against Serrie Leon and Liberia, they should consider judging their own president, George Bush, who killed millions of people in Iraq. Even your president, the Ellen Johnson Selief would’ve been judged for her role in the Liberia war. As my brother said, how the hell the court is paying a World criminal, as they proclaim 100,000 dollars a month? We must believe that there is a game between these two parties. They know the deal, let’s watch how they play or give their ruling and let’s not judge one party. Remember, never blame where you fall, but blame where you stunt your toes.
I’ve read a lot of these comments some positive and some very negative. I guess some people writing are totally unaware of what is happening here. Mr Taylor is only giving the background to the situation in the region. He has not even begun to start giving actual evidence in response to the allegations led against him. So for those who cannot understand legal matters, he is not saying that the USA told him to do anything in Liberia or Sierra Leone. He is simply telling his story first and in the process claring up a lot of misconceptions held by many both in Liberia and elsewhere.
Now for the person who talked about some alleged nonsense that that idiot Zigzag Maqzar said about cutting pregnate women stomachs open we all know who did that. It was Samuel Doe who did that to women during the Liberian war. Famatta Sherman Nah was cut open at eight months pregnate and her baby taken out. This did not happen normally in the civil war in Liberia by warring factions.
As for zigzag, did you know that he told me that he was paid $10,000 to concoct that story. That is the most ludicrous nonsense I have ever heard. Firstly he was no close person to Taylor as he was less than a bodyguard. How possible would it be for him to be with Taylor eating flesh and cutting women stomachs open, and where are the relatives of the woman that we have not heard anything about this in Liberia? Do you people think we are a bunch of idiots?
So if this Zigzag person is telling the truth, are you in agreement that the Poro Society is where people eat humans? Come on now, all Liberians who are worth their salt are aware that that is an honorable society where men are thought to be real men. It is not a canibalistic cult. All Liberians should be outraged that someone would try to tarnish the good name of our traditional school like this. Why are we letting these western people make fools of us like this. Wake up people and take pride in your culture.
Please try and get in touch with the Defense team. I am sure they will be very interested in hearing this. You can Google Courtenay Griffiths at Garden Chambers Law office United Kingdom to get his contact details.
Folks have escaped from US prisons/jails…
Watch the FBI files episodes on TV to learn about this…
we all say ”long live our president Charles Taylor”. The longer he also lives, the more misrable our enemy (uncle SAM) makes our live becom. Give Taylor to Uncle SAM and Liberia be free or have Taylor and Uncle SAM continue being a strong wall we face towards our total freedom. Should a shameless man like uncle Sam suffered an entire nation for one single man who strongly defied him and defended his nation against …
You are talking to narrow minded individual, but you have a mind set against Mr Taylor
now Mr. Taylor had no military training at the time he was jail in America, he was just an ordinary civilian. so does it make any seance to you that he was not assisted.A common with no military training walks out of United States Prisons ( Do you know the meaning of United States Prison) Maximum Security.
It is better to be level minded at least you can understand then to have a mind set Mr Mason because even if the truth is said you will denied it.
Haven Pres Sirleaf admitted to finance the N.P.F.L? Haven she. Then why you guys are cry foul now you see how simple you guys appears to others.
This is a legal site so people should think and write logically here and not express there personal anger here like Mr. Ezekial Pajibo.
Don’t worried Mr Pajibo Mr. Taylor will not call your name cause it was never important
don’t be afraid
Noko4, Joseph, Aki,
Thanks for your responses to my statement.
Noko4 we all KNOW this case is not about LIBERIA…the point is the destabilization that Taylor helped to cause and keep going in Liberia affected things very seriously in the entire region. Furthermore, Joseph it is unfortunate that you felt by injustice done to you and your family you are justified in retaliating with the lives of innocent others may older and wiser than yourself. It only speaks to great pollution of mind and heart that men like Taylor can help foster, when young boys like you without strong and prudent male influence in their lives worship and adore him like the father/uncle/brother they lost. The truth is Doe was killed in 1989. Retaliation was sought and 15 years later thousands more died. So who were you retaliating against again? The ghost of Doe who killed people’s parents? Weak excuse. The mothers and sisters and fathers and brothers young men like you who did fight were killing do not make up for the death of any one’s murdered parents. It just yields more bloodsheld
Finally Aki, I stated in my statement several times that America is not some great moral standard that people should ascribe to. It is a great world power that meddles in other people’s business and in other people’s lands. By so doing I am acknowledging that the mistake of many African nations and individuals is to think that America is some standard to live up to. It is not. When you invite Americans to help you fight your own revolution, it usually ends up in a twisted cycle of neo-imperialism and yes, 14 years of civil unrest in Liberian AND the region (Sierra Leone). I said it before and I will say it again American involvement or so called “white man” involvement like Ive heard several people say was not spontaneous! American interests in Liberia were not economically favored by inciting a war in the area. Yes there are diamonds in Liberia, and even more in Sierra Leonne. But let’s not pretend that the Americans supplied arms and militia so that they could steal diamonds from the region. Somebody invited US aide. Somebody accepted US aide. In so doing, you are accepting whatever immoral or otherwise effects of taking money/arms/ etc. from someone else for your own problems.
We as Africans need to start fighting our own battles in a more responsible way. ECOMOG was a step, however every moral system and intention has an immoral side. When you hear of ECOMOG soldiers raping young starving girls in exchange for a bag of rice…they might as well have stayed home in their own countries. The ultimate message here is to protect the youth and nurture them b/c they are the future of hopefully stable and economically sustainable nations.
Charles Taylor failed @ preserving the future of the nation. In fact he did all he could to destroy it while also opening the door for unrest in Sierra Leone.
WAKE UP Africa and stop blaming America for something you invited them to do! The same argument follows with slavery (we cannot just blame the white man when we sold our own people)! WAKE UP!
Socalled concerned citizen in the US, I am going to correct you once more that Samuel Doe was not killed in 1989; instead, he was capture on Sept. 9,1990 and Killed on Sept.10,1990. Secoundly, I didn’t lost any of my Parents to mr. Taylor’s NPLF rebels. I stated in my earlier post that many young Liberians Joined the NPFL due to the fact some of them parents were killed by Samuel Doe, secoundly, some of them was sent by their parents to joined the rebels inorder to protect them from Doe death Squad. Where were you when Doe was killing thousands of people from Nimba County?
In Nov. of 1985, where were you when Doe order his Soldiers to cellect civilins from the town before entering VOA compound in Careysbury and have them killed? There were thousands of children who parents were killed by Doe; as the result, they had no choice but to joined the NPFL to fight Doe.
Taylor didn’t force them instead it was their decisions to fight. Dr. Amous Sawyer, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other are members of the NPFL who help to secured the released of Mr. Taylor from jail to lead their operations in Liberian. I’m sorry to say concerned citizen, your sense of reasoning is very poor! I did not fight during the war, my family are well known in Liberia, all I need is to called my last name and you will find my family in Bensonvile, Careysbury, Monrovia and Sanoyeah Bong County. Every where I went during the war, there’s no one who will tell you that I was a fighter; therefore, there is no way that I could have retaliated against anyone as you’re claiming.
Infact my wife and children were pick up by the US Military in 2003 from Monrovia because I am a good citizen of liberia and God knows. I am not speaking because I’m in support of Charles Taylor but my point is that Mr. Taylor has been wrongly accused when it comes to Sierra Leone. As we all know, NPFL lost control of the border of Sierra Leone in late 1991 to Kromah ULIMO rebel faction, so how was RUF getting supplies to continued fighting until August 1997 when Taylor became president of liberia? Again concerned citizen in the US, I don’t think you really know much about what have gone on in Liberia; therefore, you need to do some research and get to know a little more about Liberia and its people!
I have to disagreed with you on the issued of the American Soldiers not being punished for atrocities comitted in Iraq and other places! I am a Liberian and an American Soldier. As I speak to all our Liberian brothers and sisters, I’m in Iraq right now station a Forward Operation Base Warrior ( FOB Warrior) in Kirkuk Province about 50 Miles away from Saddan Hussein home town of Tirkrek. America is the only Country so far that follows the laws of war.
I am telling you because I’m in it and I have served 9 years in the US Military and I have been deployed to combat zone 4 times now. We have classes every Month on Rules of engagement ( ROE ), escalations of force ( EOF ), the used of proportional Force in self Defense ….among other things. You learn all of these Rules and you have to apply them on the battlefield at all time and if you don’t your punishment is worst than killing you because their systems is built in a way that, everything you do will followed you for the rest of your life; as the results, you can do nothing good for yourself.
Even getting a job is no longer possible for you for the rest of your life. The reason why America don’t allow her Soldiers to get prosecuted often by other countries is that, America will not be able to control how the Soldier will be treated while serving their time in Jail in that country. An American Soldier was try and found guilty in the Philippines about a year ago and was sentence to Jail there; even in Germany and Japan other Soldiers were prosecuted and found guilty and serving their times there. So your please know what you’re talking about my people!
What rules of engagement were applied in Abu Graib prison ?
Did ms England give any lectures on how to handle prisoners ?
First of all I wish you well in Iraq and a speedy and safe return! Having said that the U.S. government invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq is in itself a war crime. Secondly is Bush being prosecuted for the torture that was done by American soldiers at Abu Grab prison? The answer is no. How can you then hold a President of Liberia responsible for what happened in Sierra Leone ? What is clear is that there are standards for African presidents but those same standards do not apply to Western leaders. As we say why is Taylor or the Taylor family being targeted. Look at the injustice which was done to Chuckie Taylor. He was sentenced by the Bush Justice system to 97 years in prison for torture. Obama has now released documents showing that the same Bush administration authorized these methods of torture for interrogation that Chuckie was accused of doing for use by the C.I.A. to interrogate Al-Queda members. Is this fair? I don’t think so.
ACCORDING TO MR TAYLOR HE DID NOT USE CHILD SOLDIER IN BOTH WAR, LIBERIA AND SERRI LONE BUT I WAS A CHILD SOLDIER. THE NPFL DID USE CHILDREN AS SOLDIERS.AT AGE OF 11 I HAD A AK47 GIVEN TO ME BY MR TAYLOR.CAN SOMEBODY OUT THERE HELP ME CONTACT THE INTERNATIONAL COURT I READY DO WANT BE PART OF PROCESS. I STRONGLY BELIEVED I OWE IT TO THE CHILDREN OF LIBERIA AND SERRI LONE TO TESTIFIED.I WAS IN SERRI LONE 1991 AS SPECIAL FORCES AT THE AGE 11 NOW AM 28 YEAR OLD. SOMEBODY HAVE TO BE RESPOSIBLE FOR WHAT HAD HAPPEN TO CHILDREN OF SERRI LONE AND LIBERIA AND MR TAYLOR IS TO BE BLAME.MR TAYLOR GIVE CHILD SOLDIERS DRUGS TO BE BRAVE TO KILL.CHILDREN WAS MADE INTO KILLING MACHINE.I AM NOW LIVING IN MINNEAPOLIS MN THE US WITH TWO METAL ON MY LUNG.I WORRY EVERYDAY THAT I WILL DIE FORM LUNG PROBLEMS AT EARLY AGE.CHILD SOLDIER WAS TRAIN IN LIBERIA FOR THE WAR IN SERRI LONE AND I TOKE PART IN THAT TRAINING AT CAMP NAMA BONG COUNTY IN LIBERIA.THE LATE RUF LEADER FADAY SAKOUR AND MR TAYLOR THE LEADER FOR NPFL IS TO BLAME FOR ALL KILLING OF WOMEN MEN AND CHILDREN IN BOTH WAR.MY FATHER KNOW TO THIS STORY.MY WORK AT NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE SO HE PAY PEOPLE LOKING FOR DOING THE WAR THAT WHY I’M NOT DEAD TODAY. SO IF ANYBODY OUT THERE CAN HELP ME GET IN CONTACT WITH THE INTERNATIONAL COURT I ASK THAT YOU DO SO FOR ALL THE CHILDREN THAT IS DEAD AND DON’T HAVE A VOICE CAN I BE THE VOICE FOR THE DEAD CHILDREN OF SERRI LONE AND LIBERIA. AM IN TEARS AS I SPEAK.THE TIME NOW SOMEBODY HELP ME BE THE VOICE FOR THE DEAD KIDS. THANKS TO EVERYBODY THAT READ MY STORY.
Dear Kawala – thank you for your comment. We will ensure that the SCSL’s registry gets a copy of your comment to decide what, if anything, the Special Court can do in response to your request.
Even if formal involvement in the trial is not possible for you at this point, please feel free to be involved in the discussion on this site as we will welcome your thoughts and comments throughout the trial.
The Charles Taylor Trial Team
You now seem to be taking sides. Please try and pass on to the Defense team what Helen said on this blog. She mentions that Zizag Marzah told her he was paid $ 10,000.00 by the Prosectuiton to lie on the witness stand.
I apologise if I had left you with that impression. We in no way intend to take sides. I had seen that you had already advised Helen to contact Courtenay Griffiths and saw no role for us. The other reader had asked to be contacted so he could get involved – we cannot do that, nor do I know what the SCSL Registry will do with that information.
From now on, however, we will take your advice, and we will not be involved in passing on any requests or information. We in no way intend to take sides and do not want to leave any impression that we will do so.
Best and thank you for raising this issue,
If you read my comment carefully, you will find out that I’m not saying that it is right for Charles Taylor to face trial for what ever happened in Sierra Leone. Infact, I stated that Mr. Taylor was wrongly put on trial for Sierra Leone problems. I had some Sierra Leonean Soldiers who went through Military training with me at the US Military Base Fort Learnerwood missouri in December of 2002.
These Guys were officers and Nocommissional officers from the Sierra Leonean Army who were being trained in the US. They told me as to how Sierra Leonean were trained in Guinea to fight along side ULIMO. They told me that this happened after Taylor order all NPFL Soldiers to leave an area in Sierra Leone that was part of Liberia back in the days. There’s a cornerstone with Liberia written on it at this location that’s part of Sierra Leone but the Sierra Leonean themselves don’t consider it that way; there were the NPFL Rebels stop in 1991. This was the location that ULIMO used to start fighting in Liberia. I wasn’t there but it was their own citizens who told me this story. I think Taylor will be able to tell the court how his name got involved in the Sierra Leoneans problems!
Okay my brother thanks for the clarification and stay safe. Like many Americans I support the troops in Iraq even though I don’t support the war there.
Apologies accepted! and I in turn would like to apologize to you.
Dear Aki — thank you – and no need for an apology at all. I am indeed glad you brought the issue to my attention.
And thank you also for being such an avid participant on the site. We look forward to your continued posts!
Emmanuel, thanks for responding to that so-called concerned liberian in america.
his arguments concerning the whole charles taylor’s episole is baseless.
he may one of those individuals who said hossanna today and crucify him tomorrow.
let him come do research on the taylor issue and carry his reports to the icc so that he get his share of money for lying.
please my so- called liberian in the usa, please keep your mouth closed on what you don’t know.
Joseph thanks for your response, you obviously misread my comment. I will clarify. In your original statement you seemed to be defending child soldiers who picked up arms and allowed themselves to be recruited against Doe. I am refuting the justification. You CANNOT and I repeat CANNOT retaliate against innocent people for something one crazy man and his followers did! I was not speaking personally about you but rather about those you were trying to defend.
As to your question about where I was during the war, when Doe was killing thousands of people? I obviously wasn’t there or I might have died too! Im not trying to defend Doe and nowhere have I done that! Those people that sent their children to fight to protect them against Doe’s death squad??? Do you think that was right? Would you send your 15 year old son to fight and protect you against a death squad?? Are these the same people we said voted in the free election for Mr. Taylor in 97? You have highlighted several of my original points in your response…
Finally confusing the year in which Doe was murdered doesn’t change the facts. He was murdered in 1990. The war fully ended many years after that date…You cannot justify this war by claiming people were retaliating against Doe. Because Doe died years before the war was still going on…
By saying these children had no choice but to fight with the NPFL we are admitting failure in our own African mentality. For it takes a village to raise a child. When a parent is unfortunately killed if that child feels like they have no choice but to pick up a gun?! They are obviously lacking the rightful village of support a child should have.
Finally, again I will repeat that no one is accusing you of being a fighter, but when you defend child soldiers I will refute what you said in a manner that will give you an example of what you are proposing…
Your sentence about your well-known family name in Liberia? IRRELEVANT… Liberia is a small country to assume that I couldn’t say the same is besides the point.
Futhermore, this statement about your “well-known” family in Liberia helps to highlight some of the failures WE as Liberian people have suffered in how we deal amongst ourselves. Some might argue that this classist way of thinking is what has held Liberia back for so long. My family name this and my family name that…Family names do not buy morality or ability to lead. Family name is heritage and we have misused this so called “family name” business too much!! Nobody cares if your family name is Tolbert, Taylor, Doe, Roberts, Kiazolu, or Gbesay…It is about Merit!!! This is what I argue Taylor lacked Merit and Integrity to lead a nation.
Finally, it is clear to me that this case is about Sierra Leone, but if some of you out there cant bring yourselves to see how this rotten apple attempted to spoil the bunch…then I feel sorry for you. Taylor was the rotten apple in West Africa, some countries like Ghana and Nigeria were stable enough for his influence not to turn them rotten too. However, it is my belief ( and this court may prove otherwise) that Taylor is a big part of why Sierra Leone rotten.
Mr. Victor Balagbon, it is men like you who advocate for “people keeping their mouths closed” that drive African institutions in the way they have gone. People like you will jump to the conclusion that someone is somehow less informed than you and thus should not even be heard. Educate me Mr. Balagbon on one positive contribution Mr. Charles Taylor has made to West African institutions and then we can call my accusations baseless! Name just ONE major contribution Charles Taylor brought to Liberia even… then we can argue. Name JUST ONE way Taylor tried to successfully bring peace to Sierra Leone then we can call my accusations baseless…
I have done my research where is yours??
one positive contribution was his insistance on hunting down that savage DOE!
I may want to say that Liberia as a country is not beng treated fair by the internal committy on the fact that all other countries that suppoarted war in Liberia have not been questioned in any form. What is this, are wen not part of the internal world and are humans as any other country? However, now that Taylor agreed in part that he did send men to Freetown in the late 1992, in what way can he justify the fact that he actually stopped his support after being in contact and good relation with the group operating in Freetowm?
In addtion, what can Taylor say to us Liberians, who parents got killed during his period of darkness in Liberia.. I in person lost my parents just because they were Nigerian citizens in Liberia
The debates on this site are lively and passionate, which is just what we want to see.
Just a reminder to all that while comments are both welcome and encouraged, as moderators of the site, we would also request that comments be both constructive and civil. We also reserve the right not to post comments which do not fall within the terms and conditions of the site (see the link at the bottom of the page to read them).
LOOK EVERYONE, IT IS HARD TO KNOW THAT TAYLOR IS A CRIMINAL OR LYING? HERE IS A MAN WHO HAS NEVER TOLD THE TRUTH. I WAS IN THE BORDER TOWN OF FOYA IN LOFA COUNTY THE NIGHT THAT SANKO WITH THE HELP OF NPFL FIGHTERS ENTERED THROUGH MEDIKORMA AND CUT OFF THE HEAD OF A SIERRA LEONEAN SOLDIER AND BROUGHT IT TO TOWN WITH THE LOOTS FROM KOINDU. THAT TAYLOR IS A LYING IS NOT SURPRISING TO THOSE OF US THAT INTERACTED WITH THE MAN.
I SAW TAYLOR LEADING A CONVOY TO KOINDU IN A KORANDO JEEP AND ALSO KNOW HOW HE HARBORED SAM BOCKARIE AND OTHER RUF FIGHTERS IN MONROVIA. SOME BECAME MEMBERS OF THE FEARED ATU. IN FACT A LOT OF THEN ARE STILL AROUND TOWN.
LET TAYLOR SAY THE TRUTH AND HOPEFULLY THE TRUTH WILL SET HIM FREE!!!
Apart from this website, is there any other media that I can use to monitor this trial- TV or Radio?
I would suggest a few options: the first is to do a google news search for the Charles Taylor trial – that should give you a reasonable selection of the news available on the web on this site. You can also read the transcripts which are available on the Special Court’s own website – they are available here: http://www.sc-sl.org/CASES/ProsecutorvsCharlesTaylor/Transcripts/tabid/160/Default.aspx. You can also watch the proceedings live through the Special Court’s webcast – there is a link to it from our home page (the button which says “watch live”) or else you can go directly through the Special Court’s site itself here: http://www.sc-sl.org/CASES/ProsecutorvsCharlesTaylor/tabid/107/Default.aspx.
Hope this helps.
Taylor needs to be tried and face the full penalty of the law.I was a medical and humanitarian worker in the Sierra leone military for over seven yrs and subsequently other medical and humanitarian organizations.Taylor caused a lot of problems in our sub region as a whole,thus claiming thousands of innocent lives and properties.Taylor openly broadcasted that Sierra Leone will surely taste the bitterness of war and indeed up till date the effects are very visible though a lot of people tend to forget.Taylor was more than a murderer.I was very fortunate to speak to Nigerian and Sierra Leone soldiers brought over to Sierra Leone for emrgency treatment with the aid of helicopter.And civillians too.I will never forget some of the things they told me before losing their lives.Taylor worked tightly with Sokobana Sankoh,less talking of Sam Buckarie allias Mosquito.The whole world is brimmingly aware.Taylor supplied arms to RUF combatants and not only arms.Especially in Kono where he visited on several occasions.Taylor was barbaric,monstrous and villanous.One cannot elaborate much on this but i can and will tell the world that the Special court has still not covered fifty% of Taylor`s stupendous atrocities.He caused a lot.
am just amazed at the fact that in all the trades of diamonds no president thought of using them to thier advantage and build a great nation with great infrastructure..i mean people could have a had a beautiful life in libearia through this, schools, hospitals you name it. beacuse of lack of all this people were not educated and became frustrated by the quality of life..we all know frustrated and uneducated people do not make the best decisions. its all so sad really. Africans need to start thinking of building thier nations and not be greedy..the greed has taken us nowhere!!
Why is Taylor being tried at the Hague? who let Taylor into Africa? where were his weapons manufactured? who shipped them to Africa? I thought Sierra Leone was used as a training ground for rebels fighting in Liberia? Is it true that Taylor passed through Ivory Coast on his way to Liberia? The Ivorian government allowed him? Did LURD entered Liberia from Guinea? Is Taylor really being try for Sierra Leone? It should be for Liberia not for Sierra Leone who also played a major role in the Liberian conflict. Other leaders who allowed their territories to be used by rebels should be tried and held for damages they’ve caused in Liberia.
Dear peter flomo,
Thank you for your thoughtful questions. In reference to your first question, “Why is Taylor being tried at the Hague?”, please see our Trial Background page – http://www.charlestaylortrial.org/trial-background/who-is-charles-taylor/. I have also reposted the answer below.
Why is Charles Taylor’s trial taking place in The Hague?
Citing fears over instability in Liberia if Taylor were tried in neighboring Sierra Leone, Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson backed a bid to have Taylor’s trial moved to The Hague. The Dutch Government asked for a Security Council resolution to authorize the transfer, and said it would host Taylor’s trial on the condition that another country agreed in advance to take Taylor after his trial finished (the United Kingdom agreed). Security Council Resolution 1688 was passed unanimously on June 16, 2006, paving the way for Taylor to be tried by the Special Court on the premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
According to Article 10 of the Special Court Agreement between the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone, while the seat of the Special Court shall be in Sierra Leone, “…The Court may meet away from its seat if it considers it necessary for the efficient exercise of its functions, and may be relocated outside Sierra Leone, if the circumstances so require…” Pursuant to this provision in the Special Court Agreement, the President of the court, who sits as the presiding judge of the Appeals Chamber issued an order that Mr. Taylor’s trial be held in The Hague due to concerns that holding the trial in Sierra Leone might jeopardize security in the West African sub-region, which might in turn have a negative impact on the work of the Special Court.
as one of the victim of the liberian war who managed to exscape and fled to another state . i was a child when it started…….. Yes we were set up…… My family and i got a call the rebels was looking for us and we had to hide for two years. They went to my aunt house instead of ours. The present that got killed was my cousins dad . The reason he was in power is beacuse noone wanted him to leave. there was no homeless people and it was truly a free nation.
And charles tayler is a lyer …. He did not need the citizens help to fight because he went after innocent children….. and made many kill pregnant women and their parents. He was a cold hard bastard. He taped himself killing the president … i will never forget that tape of him and the other guy who brutialy cut his ear off. nonone on earth should ever have to die that way. Revelations……. the coming of christ is near.
[…] First, they (the US Government) provided the escape of Charles Taylor to break a maximum-security prison in… Taylor, who led the NPFL force backfired from the initial mission – to overthrow Samuel Doe and prepare for election, decided that he wanted to be president. His greed and evil mindset and attempts to destabilize the region led to the civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone, cross borders attacks against refugees in Guinea and the support of civil rebellion in Ivory Coast. […]
[…] University – perhaps that is why Sirleaf initially supported him, or maybe it explains his mysterious escape from a US prison. Celebrations of Sirleaf that contribute to this single story extend far beyond […]
[…] later, during his trial, in 2009, Taylor would clarify on the ‘mysterious’ escape. He narrated how CIA agents helped him to escape from the maximum security prison in 1985, […]
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