ECOWAS Leaders Changed Rebel Leadership, not Charles Taylor acting alone, Taylor says

Charles Taylor did not use his personal influence or control over Sierra Leone’s rebel force to choose a new leader when its head commander was arrested in 2000, Mr. Taylor told the Special Court for Sierra Leone judges today. Instead, West African leaders worked together to appoint a new rebel leader with whom they could negotiate in order to bring peace to Sierra Leone, he said.

In May 2000, Revolutionary United Front (RUF) leader Foday Sankoh was arrested and detained by the government of Sierra Leone after the rebel group abducted over 500 United Nations peacekeepers and held them as hostages. Mr. Taylor said he was able to negotiate the release of the UN peacekeepers after meeting with the RUF’s most senior commander at the time, Issa Sesay. Mr. Taylor said that the next concern was to determine who to negotiate with on behalf of the RUF so that peace would return to Sierra Leone.

“After the release of the UN hostages, we were concerned about who was in charge of the RUF in Sierra Leone,” Mr. Taylor said.

Mr. Taylor said that at a July 26, 2000 meeting in Liberia, six Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) leaders asked Mr. Sesay to take over the leadership of the RUF since Mr. Sankoh was no longer in a position to run the rebel movement. Mr. Sesay, according to Mr. Taylor, told the West African leaders that he needed to get the approval of Mr. Sankoh, who was imprisoned in Sierra Leone. He said that Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, and Malian president, Alpha Oumar Konare, traveled together to Sierra Leone and met with Mr. Sankoh in his prison cell. They obtained a letter from him which approved Mr. Sesay as the RUF’s interim leader.

Referencing the release of the UN hostages, Mr. Taylor responded to prosecution allegations that the rebels listened to Mr. Taylor because of his individual and personal influence over the RUF.   Denying this allegation, Mr. Taylor said “No, I am doing this with ECOWAS and everybody, not because of any individual influence.”

The prosecution has led evidence that when Mr. Sankoh gave his approval to Mr. Sesay’s leadership of the RUF, he told Mr. Sesay to take instructions from Mr. Taylor, and ordered Mr. Sesay not to disarm his rebel forces in Sierra Leone. A number of prosecution witnesses also testified that it was Mr. Taylor who changed the leadership of the RUF. Mr. Taylor dismissed this allegation as “total nonsense.”

Mr. Taylor said that the “circumstances surrounding Issa Sesay’s appointment was public knowlege.”

Mr. Taylor said that ECOWAS leaders, including Sierra Leonean president Ahmed Tejan Kabbah saw Mr. Sesay as the most ideal person to work with in order to bring peace to Sierra Leone. “We saw him to be a very good fellow,” Mr. Taylor said. “Some credit is due to him for getting on with the process of Lome [The peace agreement between the government of Sierra Leone and the RUF was signed in the Togolese capital Lome in June 1999].”

Mr. Taylor also today accused the United Kingdom and the United States as the two key states responsible for wrongly accusing him of supporting the RUF rebels in the Sierra Leonean conflict. He dismissed these allegations as “false” and “without proof.”

Mr. Taylor’s testimony continues tomorrow.


  1. See link

    Eventhough I do not agree with much of the conclusions of this article but it presents one fact about the diamond trade in Liberia, “Liberia has been a conduit and vector point for the illicit diamond trade since the 1950s.” So it was not Charles Taylor that invented diamond mining in West Africa.

    This whole diamond accusation is making many ordinary African people to view westerners as just materialistic without any regard to human sufferings. Gold and Diamond business has never been any kind of conflict thing in Liberia or SL. Oridinary Liberian families have their own diamond mines which they have total control over without the government. So for this court to take this diamond business like some kind of serious human rights violation further exposes the exploitative nature the premise of this case against Mr. Taylor.

    The diamond issue proves what Taylor has always said in Liberia , that powerful nations were only interested in taking away Africa’s huge and rich natural resources without any benefit to the African people. This is so sad for ordinary African people to be living on very rich land that has gold and diamonds but yet they are very poor only due to the oppression of African governments. This is why wars are all over Africa because if any African government or president refuses to be exploited the West will finance war against that president calling them dictators and criminal. A classic example is Charles Taylor war against Samuel Doe. Samuel Doe downfall came as a result when he got frustrated with the United States and told all Liberians to paid back America’s debt. Doe was angry that America was forcing him to give away Liberia resources without benefit to ordinary Liberians.

    If any Liberian in here will recall at that time, Doe asked all citizens to paid any amount, atleast a dollar. Monies were collected from students and within a short time Doe took the initial amount he collected and requested the American Embassy to take it as part payment towards Liberia’s debt.

    1. Dear King Gray, remember, when a man points a finger, there are three more pointing back at him. Yes, the West has had a hand in extracting African resources, especially in the days of Colonialism and Neo-Colonialism, but what about the modern African leaders who make lucrative agreements with Multi-National Corporations and pocket the money instead of ensuring distribution to their people? Does anyone truly believe Mr. Taylor’s government (or Doe, etc.) used ALL the proceeds from resource concessions for the betterment of the Liberian population? Of course, this is a different topic. No one denies diamond trade has existed in Liberia and the MRU region, rather, the question that requires to be answered is…where did the proceeds go? Too bad Mr. Jenkins Dunbar, Sr. (former Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy under Taylor from mid 1990s to 2003) recently passed away;it would be interesting to hear him testify on Liberia’s role in the diamond trade and how the Taylor administration used the proceeds.

  2. King Gray, i think you grasping short straws here. I don’t think anybody denies this assertion that diamonds have been smuggled in the past. What is in question is the volume and timing. First if you look at the sierra leone map and the main diamon mining towns, they are much closer to Guinea than liberia. Travelling from Kono to anywhere near the Liberian border in normal conditions are difficult but under fire with arm groups to negotiate is suicidial. Yes, someone can managed a couple hundred thousand not the quantity that have been detected.

    Of course the bulk of the diamonds could not go to Guinea becasue the guinean had taking the necessary steps to stop this and secondly why go to Guinea when you a whole country at your disposal in liberia.

    The issue somehow that, all this is a western conspiracy is absolute nonsense. Taylor did nothing for africa and the african people. He may have done things for his own family, friends and cronies but he did nothing for africa for him to looked at as an african hero. He headed one of the most popular revolution(guerilla ware) in africa with almost 70% of the country supporting him and within 6 months he has succeded in turning the people against him by going on murdering spree and since then he only managed to hang around thanks to the employment of people like Yeaten and ZigZag etc. who help butress his brutality on the liberian people, so quite trying to present taylor like a hero, he is not.

    Taylor should concentrate on clearing his name and getting on as a citizen Taylor because that is all he is and will ever be.

    1. Eagle,
      What you are telling us are NOT the evidences in this court…..why are you inflating PAIN on yourself??

      1. Dear Noko4, the evidence is open to interpretation, and the defense and prosecution have two opposing narratives to explain and interpret the evidence presented. We all await the decision of the judges.

    2. Eagle,

      Well written, great observation and even better assertion. That should be a good debate. You are right about the events in Liberia, however, the case is on Liberia. My disappointment with this trail is outright frustration is that, I don’t think sufficient evidences have been brought forth. I also think think that testimonies are not consistent. Yet, you have good points for discussion….

    3. Thanks Eagle eye for telling the true Some liberian just believe Taylor is god They are blind to the true.

      1. Sam,
        I don’t know why some you are easily carried. But ,I tell you what thinking that some liberians would think that taylor is god, is totally irresponsible and the statement itself nonesensical. Should have never been made in this forum where scholars are debating a very important issue that has the potential to cause serious negative impact on the coexistance of our sub region. Please do not reduce liberians in that manner anymore. You should know better then that. The mentality of liberians is far beyond your scope of description. TAKE IT BACK!!! THANK YOU> read more….

      2. Sam, it is very unfortunate that you think some Liberians believe that President “Taylor is god.” Instead, it is you guys that think so. For example, you believe, President Taylor’s trial in Sierra Leone will create instability in Liberian; eventhough, you claimed that the Liberian people hit the grounds he walks on. Sierra Leone will be in total havoc and the entire sub-region will go ablaze. Therefore, the trial must be transferred for “Security Reason.” It is also believed, that Taylor is a threat to global peace and security. It is also believed, that Taylor is meddling in Liberia affairs, although, he’s in the custody of the court. It is also believed, Taylor has about Five Billion dollars in the bank, but no one in this world can verify or even touch it. Not even the World’s two most Super Powers, America and Great Britain. It is also believed, that Taylor can tell a citizen of another country to kill, destroy, rape, amputate , and terrorize his own people and country and his will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Sam, the bottom line here is that, you are guilty of the very charge that you are charging your fellow Liberians with. Be real.

      3. Sam, what truth we are blind to? Are you the truth and the light now? Is your thought process the truth? I say verily verily unto you, you are a false prophet. I reject your truth and teaching. However, your way of seeing things is different from mine. That doesn’t make yours to be correct and mines wrong.

  3. I cannot get on the streamline to watch the trial since yesterday…is anyone else having said problem??

    1. Since August 18th, I’ve been unable to log on. I tried every means, but to no avail… Same problem this morning. What’s causing this that the world is prevented from watching a high profile trial like this? Is the court responsible for this or is it the so called super power changing public opinion?
      Can anyone assist or is it a server problem?

      Abe Lincoln

      1. Dear Abe Lincoln,

        When we spoke to the Special Court about this problem, they said it was due to an overload of people trying to watch the trial through the Special Court’s channels. Have you tried accessing it through this site? The feed channeled through this site gets less traffic of people trying to watch, and I think as a result, those who have been watching it through our site have not had a problem so far. You can access it through the button on the top right hand side of the homepage which says “watch live”. Let me know how it goes and whether there are still any problems with the feed through this way.


        1. Tracey,

          Even the link oh this site doesn’t work! I hope this is not calculated to prevent people from hearing the truth. If that is the case it won’t work!

          1. Oh no Sylvanus — that is terrible news. That is the first time I have heard of problems from this site as well. Let me try to find out the problem and will revert asap.

            Thanks for alerting me,

          2. Tracey,

            At home and at work I was able to access the case from your site, there was not problem. Both links transmitted the English version. I use Cable internet and not the dsl-highspeed, and ofcourse at work, it is the t-1 line. so the media of access could be a problem as well and not only the source.

          3. Andrew — thanks for this handy tip. The Special Court indicated this as well — they recommended that people who are able to get access to faster connections might have a better chance of watching uninterrupted. However, some people reported some technical difficulties also, even with faster connections. I am just double checking with the court and will get back to you as soon as I hear anything. But I appreciate you sharing your experience with us and other readers — that will be useful for those who can access cable internet in particular.


          4. I rweally don’t believe what some of you are saying here. You watch taylor’s trial while at work? I don’t get it! Have someone record it for you.It sounds like conflict of interest here..just being nice and a piece of positive advice.

          5. J.fallah menjor,

            Yes, brother, you it is an internet feed, you connect you earphone and the video window is reduced to some section of your desktop. Those who do not do job with such facility available will dispute this. But I just wrote that because it was the truth, I was not even mindful of the other possibility. Yes mr menjor it is possible and i follow the trial here in the states early in the morning at my home, and when i get to work i continue.

            My only frustration now is that posting of comments are being delayed. but as you say for african level tracey is more than phenomenon.

          6. Tracey,

            Honestly this is getting frustrating. I can’t even watch anything! Neither here nor on the sc-sl site. Its a shame isn’t it?

          7. I know, Sylvanus — it is a real shame. I know a number of people are frustrated with these problems with the live feed. I am trying to find out more information and will let you know as soon as I hear anything.


        2. Tracey,

          I have always used this site to watch the trial however even this site is not showing the trial. Please could you verify and revert to me. Thanks

          1. Helen — I’m so sorry to hear that. Thanks so much for alerting me as I had not heard these complaints about our feed as well. I will look into it and revert as soon as possible.

            With thanks,

          2. Tracey Gurd let me help you out on this the link on your site goes to the same source!

            Its like creating a shortvut on your desktop!

            Please tell them the court thay will have to do something better or ELSE!

            Let me know if there is any TV or satellite channel beaming it live


          3. Dear Nii — I am checking on it. Let’s see what the Special Court says. I will get back to you as soon as I hear anything.


        3. Noko4, Noko5 and others,

          what comments would you have on the sudden increase in the number of viewers of the proceedings online. During the prosecutions presentations, why did we not experience this level of interest as evidence by the reported overload of the site.

          I just think that it speaks to the level of support that Mr. Taylor has within the eyes of the public. Is it not peculiar, that this demon would suddenly arouse so much interest in his case?

        4. Tracey,
          Your site is the ONLY site I watch it on….for the past two days, I cannot. I did go to the Special Court’s site and the same result.

          I don’t want to believe this is a game been played by the Special Court given that most are leaning in Mr. Taylor’s favor due to his performances.

          1. Noko4 – I am checking on it and will get back to you when I hear from the Special Court.
            More soon,

        5. Okay hardworking Tracey,

          All transcripts are up to date. But guess what somehow we overpressured the crew that they duplicated the transcript of August 12 and posted it as that of August 14, whereas August 14 was a Friday and there is no session.

          1. Andrew — thanks for alerting me. You are really on the ball and following this trial closely, aren’t you? I’ll pass the message along and see if they can fix it.


          2. Andrew — thanks again for noting this — I have alerted the Special Court. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.


          1. Hi Noko5 — I have just approved it.

            I am also using this opportunity to again encourage all commenters to go easy on others who contribute to the site. Let’s remember to stick to the issues and not focus on each other – otherwise, we can get distracted from the main points and the big issues we all like to debate and discuss.

            Thanks to all,

      2. Thanks, but I tried watching live link 1&2, but all effort prove fruitless. I’ve tried other sites with same result. What should I do?

        1. Dear Abe Lincoln,

          I am checking on this problem. I have also heard that faster internet access helps sometimes, but it seems this has been complicated by technical problems in the last few days. I will get back to readers once I hear back from the Special Court. Sorry I can’t help more right now.


  4. Again why will Taylor choose a leader for the RUF? I belive this court has the power to ask some of these former and present weather what Charles is say is the true. Besides I think they are all signatories to if not all but most of these doucments. Charles Taylor is calling names of dead people here. Most of the names he had or is calling, these people are living. Look the man has even challenge not just United Nation but any man on earth to produce a paper that he has this blood diamond money in an account. Secondly if anybody know someone that he has used to save this billion of dollars for him. Can someone help me here what is ECOWAS saying? Is Taylor lying on ECOWAS? I belive this man is saying the true and not just as we Liberian call it they say. In the first place why is it that this court with such a high standard base their facts on they say looking he nature of the case?

    1. Leoroy,

      Let me just share my views on this issue of what Taylor did to the Liberian people. Taylor did not do anything to the Liberian people. Liberian people did things to themselves, and that is a fact. Here are my positions:

      1. In war especially civil war we expect excesses to be committed. It is the duty of the commander to arrest or put such situation under control so that it does not become extensive. In Mr. Taylor case he did.

      2. Even in advanced/developed nations, when soldiers go to war we have seen excesses being committed. Here in America we heard accounts of the Abu Grahab Prison situation where abuses and excesses occurred. Even further, we are witnesssing account of the mercernary group called blackwater that are being sued in American Court for abuses and excess committed in Iraq.

      3. Mind you these are accounts from advance military nation, well trained and educated soldiers. So What more about armed guerillas with limited training and highly illiterate. Has anyone done a survey of the average level of education of the armed groups that participated in the liberian crises? Take a guess. your would be as good as mine.

      4. So the heart of the matter is We should blame ourselves. The high illiteracy rate in Liberia is one negative factor that contributed to the level of excesses that we experienced. Is there measure being taken to reduce illiteracy rate. Again your guess is just as good as mine. When I was in grade school, the illiteracy was 15%, now I am 40yrs, the illiteracy rate is still around that level, nearly half a century later.

      5. Are blaming Mr. Taylor, there are root cause to our backwardness in Liberia. Lack of vision of leaders plain and simple. We see our neighbors Ghana, Ivory Coast, etc taking big leaps forward, to the extent that Western leader cite them as examples and that is why Barack Obama selected Ghana to speak to Africa. We need to get our acts together.

      We need to begin by dismissing that TRC final report that tends to create more confusion than reconciliation. We are not looking to TRC for retribution.

      We need to amend our constitution limiting the power bestow on the presidency. The president appoints all superintendents(equivalent of local governors and county administrator), commissioners, judges etc. The constitution should be amended for these officials to be elected thereby being more answerable to the people they tend to serve rather than some executive sitting in Monrovia.

      One major issue is the election commission lacks trust of the people. I believe a way to address this issue is to amend the law creating the election commission. The election commission should derive its authority from the legisture and not the executive. The election commission should be independent of the executive. But the scenario whereby you have commissioner who feel they have to please the president is premise to compromise their impartiality.

      I can go on but I guess I should stop. But we should not blame Taylor.

  5. Hi Eagle eye
    I strongly belive here that we are not talking about what Taylor did to the liberian people. The issue here is Taylor involvement in the Sierra Leonean conflict. Maybe we will come to what he did to the liberian people in time to come, when Liberia or Liberian setup a court of such. From few of your statements here I know you got something personal with him and this is not the issue. I just want to see justice and the role that actually link him with the RUF with documents. As I follow the defence case, I don’t know and I am not a law student but we have to wait and see the out come of this trial.

    1. Leroy,

      I am responding to you rebuttal to Eagle Eye. Do you think he/she has something personal against CT? If he or she does, don’t you think this person might have a valid reason? Remember that the war in Liberia hurt lots of people. If Eagle Eye has anger toward CT, well let he/her vent. How sure are you that this person didn’t lose their mom, dad, brother, sister, husband or wife (possibly execution style or slaughtered) during the war. Whatever the case, let this person express their anger and frustrations. I am also angry, not because I was personally hurt (even though I was), my individual pain does not compare to the overall pain that Liberians collectively endured. I disagree with those who allow their emotions to cloud their judgment. The case should be about evidence not my personal like and dislike or trust of distrust of CT. I may talk as though I am pro CT, really I am not, but to convict anyone (even CT), their should be an air tight case…..we don’t have one. Of course, I am also against SL’s court over arching power to convict a sitting president of another country.

  6. Did you all see the statements made by the Chief Prosecutor Rapp in Liberia at the Ministry of Labour? Is it allowed for him to be so categorical that Mr Taylor will ‘definitely’ get a conviction on all charges at this stage in the trial? Is it not prejudicail to do so? Can someone who is more versed in this area of law advise me please?

    How can he be so definitive about this unless the outcome is a foregone conclusion by them the socalled powers that be. Well if they are not going to give justice a chance then why are they going through this farce of a trial. I hope this is not so or else the international community will have once more lost a very good opportunity to gain some modicum of respect and credibility

    1. Tracey,

      Below is an excerpt from the news article from referring to comments that Mr. Rapp made about the ongoing trial of Charles Taylor.

      Please check with your team of lawyers at the Hague to determine if it is within the scope of the special court proceedure for The Prosecution in an ongoing case to make such public assertions. The question is it appropriate and did he compromise any practice or precedent?

      “The Chief Prosecutor of Chamber II of the Special War Crimes Court for Sierra Leone, sitting in The Hague, Stephen Rapp says, he is convinced that former Liberian President, Charles G. Taylor would be found guilty of the 11-count charges levied against him by the court. ”

      “Speaking Tuesday when he paid a courtesy call on Labor Minister, Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe at his UN Drive offices in Monrovia, Rapp told journalists that the prosecution was not taking side in the trial, but rather, wants justice to be done to the former Liberian leader and further assured Liberians that Taylor will get fair and impartial trial.”

      1. Hi Andrew,

        I will happily write something on this issue soon. Thanks for asking.


    2. I, in particular, see nothing wrong with Rapp’s comments about absolute conviction of taylor on all counts, wether made at the ministry of Labour, or press conference since it is his duty as prosecutor to continue to push his findings on behalf of the victims vs taylor! Do you get this?

    3. Helen,

      I saw the article attributing remarks to Mr. Rapp that he was certain Mr. Taylor is going to be convicted. I just posted a few lines requesting Tracey to get us up to date with the court rules and procedures as to how far the statement was in line. I do not know if the court has a gag-order in place.

      But as usual I am relying on our moderator because she has been so polite, committed and humble in addressing our issues/concerns even when we falter.

    4. Hi Helen — I will be writing a little piece on yours and Andrew’s questions with respect to this issue very soon. Thanks for asking.


  7. Hi Tracy:

    Over the past fews days I have noticed that your summaries are usually posted very late. In most cases, it is posted several hours after the close of the day. For example, I got yesterday summary at about 23:15. It was very late. Previously summaries were posted in about an hour or less after the case close for the day. Is there a problem?

    1. Dear Daniel,

      Thanks for your question. There is no problem, but since we changed the format of the site for the start of the defense case, we go through a different process of writing and posting it than we did before. Sometimes, because of this new process, we have to post summaries later on some days than on other days. I am sorry for any inconvenience this lateness causes readers such as yourself, but please bear with us. We are writing and posting each day as soon as we can. I am glad you are still reading them and hope you continue to do so!


  8. Eagle Eye:

    Thank you for those comments, only true Liberians like you knows what Taylor is all about and what Taylor is made of.

    We Liberians have a strong history of defending what we believed in, no matter the consequences especially when it is the truth.

    Taylor won the elections with 95% of the votes from the total of 17 Political Parties, never in the history of Liberian politics. With all this massive support he enjoyed, I wonder why will Liberians sit there, hands folded and mouth shut will allow Taylor to go on trial? We loved this man so much that we forgive him for what he did in Liberia. As proud Liberians we know that this man did these crimes and we will not stand for such. How can the entire Republic forsake you like that, Taylor? We voted for you so massively, why are we not talking and staging massive protest in your support. This time you are on your own, face your crimes like a man and stop blaming Westerners for committing these heinous crimes against your own African brothers. You are not a hero.

    Taylor WOOOOOOOO MEEEE like the kids in Liberia will say! SHAME ON YOU. What legacy you left for the Liberian people nothing but shame.

    1. Nice read Kpadekpah Flomoku,

      Be honest, take us on the tour of the legacies of other Liberian presidents besides Taylor since you claim he did not leave any.

  9. Putting aside the shenanigans of the Western Powers for the moment, it seems to me that at the heart of the case against Charles Taylor is the question of ‘Linkage’,and while it is true that some of the ‘Key Actors’ such as Foday Sankor, Sam Bokarie Johnny Paul Koroma etc who could have provided evidence to support or disprove the allegations are dead or missing, there remains at least one or two other key witnesses such as Issa Sesay, Morris Kallon and Augustine Gbao who are in a position to confirm or refute the allegations. They are not only alive but currently serving long prison sentences for related offences, it should therefore, not be an insurmountable problem for them to be invited to give evidence.
    This might be an fruitful avenue for the court to persue.
    A brief word about the destructive ‘role’ of ‘Western Powers’, it is in my view, an indubitable fact, that they played a significant ‘role’ in the nightmare that overtook our region, however, they are not currently on trial and facing Justice, the time for Bush, Blair, Cheney et al. to face justice in our courts will come.
    As Always Wadi ‘The Zima’

    1. My dear Wedi,

      If that time should ever comes, it will be before the Almighty God, to whom all men shall account of their deals here on earth. I am sorry to say this, justice is not just.

      1. Noko4 and Noko5,

        I need some update since i recently started following the case. Where is Issa Sesay, whose name is so predominant here. Has he been tried or he was not accused?

        1. Andrew,
          I posted your answere but tracy has problem with the way I did. However, you will get the same information, if you type in google, THE TRIAL OF ISSA SESAY>

    2. Issa Sesay, Morris Kallon and Augustine Gbao should be invited by whom to confirm or refute Mr. Taylor? The prosecution has already presented its case. The defense does not need them or Foday Sankor, Sam Bokarie, Johnny Paul Koroma to confirm anything.

      1. Noko5 — you posted a great comment with loads of information about Issa Sesay — however, I am not in a position to post it due to copyright concerns. Is there any way you can either paraphrase the information or else draw our small relevant portions that you can quote from and directly attribute to the source? I think it would be very helpful to readers if you could — we just may run into legal problems in its current form.

        Best, with thanks,

  10. I have always use this site to watch this trial and it does have some problems some time but today is worst. I hope you guys can fix it.

    On the question of Stephen Rapp talking in Liberia. I listened to his interviewed on Star Radio and could only say that Stephen Rapp has no interested in justice but wealth. He goes around repeating falsehoods to generate excitement so that the world will continue to fund his socalled justice project. There is a need for a more competent prosecution to lead this court prosecution so that this court reputation will remain intact. One of the ridiculous statements that Mr. Rapp made in Liberia was to informed the Liberian people that the current government should find all of Taylor’s millions so that they can use it for development purposes. How in this world will the Liberian government find Taylor socalled millions if Stephen Rapp and the world’s powers cannot find it? Moreover, why would Rapp be attaching development of Liberia to finding socalled Taylor’s wealth? This is how individuals like Stephen Rapp can begin to undermine small nations’ presidents because it would not be surprise that behind the scene they could be telliing President Ellen Johnson that if she does not find Taylor socalled millions she will be consider as acting hostile to western interests in Africa.

    Let me now turn to Eagle-eye(returns). EER, it appears that you seems to be behaving in similar fashion like those Africans who need free money and food from Western nations and refused to be innovative towards their own nations development. Remember that I have said in the past that the ordinary people of Western society have demonstrate time and time again that they are decent peace loving and justice. Take for example the issue of slavery in America, it was the forced of ordinary white people combined with Blacks that compelled the American government to change its behavior and grant Black people rights as human. The issue of Hilter against the jews, again westerners have demonstrated justice , peace and love. But what I have come to know in our African situation is the problem of sychophacy and hypocrisy in dealing among ourselves and dealing with Westerners.

    Here is a classic example of what I am talking about. You , Eagle Eye continue to give an impression that diamond trade in Liberia was something strange in the manner that this court have described. You said this in your last post ” What is in question is the volume and timing. First if you look at the sierra leone map and the main diamon mining towns, they are much closer to Guinea than liberia. Travelling from Kono to anywhere near the Liberian border in normal conditions are difficult but under fire with arm groups to negotiate is suicidial. Yes, someone can managed a couple hundred thousand not the quantity that have been detected.”

    Eagle Eye what you failed to mention or maybe you have no knowledge about is the fact that Liberia has always been the center for trade in not just West Africa but most of the countries on the African continent. Anybody in West Africa would rather come to sell their goods in Liberia then Guinea or elsewhere because Liberia is still using the United States dollar as its legal tender. It is because of this powerful United States dollar that Liberia had huge people from all over West Africa and other parts of Africa coming to Liberia. If you will recall SL, Ghanians, and Nigerians because they are english speaking people occupied many positions in Liberia as far back as Liberia’s history goes. Most of our school teachers were either Ghanian, SL, or Nigerian and all these people became Liberian citizens overnight. So stop this false perpretration of diamond trade to gain sympathy so that the west can fund somekind of NGO that is not helping our people. Ordinary Westerners have been robbed and continue to be robbed all the time for giving poor nations , especially African nations development assistance.

  11. Helen I will take side with what you are saying.
    How can he say that while the trial is still going on. From the start I knew Taylor was never going to get a free trial. He is the head and after all documents the defence team is giving for him to say that then we should be thinking now.

  12. Personally, I’m disappointed that one can’t watch the trial live because there seems to be technical issues with this site and others streaming the video. Nonetheless, I like to say that Taylor was a very bad guy who only wanted to enrich himself at the expense of Liberia and Sierra Leone. I’m glad he’s on trial because it will hopefully send a powerful message to other evil rulers in Africa that they might end up like Taylor should they commit crimes against their people.

  13. I am happy to get all these information from Mr. Taylor. Its good to hear of the sierra leone vs liberia crisis on a one sided scale. what i would like to recommend is that at the end of the trial let the international community come and set up a war crime court in Liberia as well. fro me its nothing to have mr taylor responsible for the war in sierra leone, rather i would love to face him and his collaborators in the liberian crisis in a war crim court. i want to have a chance to peosecute mr taylor and his partners for the killing of my parents as well as other nigerian nationals. before i forget, i will recommend that this court also presecute mr taylor for the killing of thousands of nigesrians, ghanians and guineans during the mid 1990 of whom my parents were part. i believe that these are situation that mr taylor cannot denie. pleased madam gudge, kindly accept my recommendation.

    1. Mr. Hart,

      Please be specific as to how, where, when your parents were killed and what were their offense if any. You cannot just accuse our president and pan africanist sweepingly and do not expect a challenge.

      Talking about war crime court, we will also try ECOMOG soldiers and commanders as well as available officials of the ndpl government. We should not forget there was the Lutheran Church Massacre, no investigation nor trial of its perpetrators to date. Of course we cannot excuse the sitting Liberian president, she has to come in and answer questions.

      In short we will plunge Liberia into another chaos. So if you do not have any constructive criticism for Liberia, leave us alone.

      For the trial of Charles Taylor would be a litmus test to determine if the African Leaders wouls support the international justice system and the international criminal court.

      For it is the court that is on trial and not Charles Taylor. This court will sustain or destroy the icc.


    2. Mr. Hart,
      So you are blaming all the killings of foreign nationals on Charles Taylor ? You are being very narrow minded. Were Ojuku and General Gowon responsible for all the foreigners who were killed during the Biafarian civil war in Nigeria ?

  14. Tracey,

    What is the possibility of obtaining to the audio of Mr. Taylor’s testimony? Most people who are interested in this prosecution especially Liberians and Sierra Leoneans, do not have the necessary bandwidth to watch it live. Even for some of us in Europe and America, are currently struggling. Perhaps just the audio files from the procession will not only help us abroad but also our brothers and sisters back home where internet bandwidths are generally low to display motion picture file. In addition, they could be archived allowing audiences to catch up more conveniently with respect to time differences.

    1. Dear Darkface,

      We can definitely ask the Special Court to see if they can help us with the audio. I am not sure if it is available or whether they could license a site like ours with the ability to post it (or to make it available on the Special Court’s own site and then we could link to it) but I agree with you completely that it would be a fabulous resource if it were archived and accessible for those of us who are unable to watch the live feed every day, due to technical problems or other reasons. Let me ask and I’ll revert to you.


  15. King Gray, I am a proud liberian and african and I do not take handout or bribery which is the reason I support this trial. I do not hate taylor nor have I been involve in anything with him. But I do believe this trial is right, first to set the record straight and secondly to allow everyone to move on. If taylor is guilty he should serve his sentence and if he is not then he should be freed. I believe you support the ideal of him not been tried at all. Everyone is against taylor, the west, sl,west africa,eagle-eye and the list go on. Seems to me an an elaborate execuse.

    If taylor had no dealings with ruf, it will be proven for all to see and if he did it will also be proven. I know for sure he had dealings with ruf and other people know that. That in itself is not criminal. There are senior ruf members living in sierra leone as free people. But his continued denial of not having any link with ruf except those sanctioned by the international community is laughable and will cause his credibility issues. REMEMBER the judges have already overturn the motion of acquital after the prosecution examination, so like me they believe taylor has questions to answer.

    King Gray, stop trying to put forward this argument about diamonds. Liberia is not and has never been in the same league with sierra leone when it comes to diamonds production in but quantity and quality. Yes, I do agree that many people from around west africa did trade in liberia and even then diamond trade in liberia was far less than during the war, when very few people actual dare try crossing ruf territory. I am not only familiar with both countries, I lived and work in both. There was no way any trader would dare mine diamond in RUF area, let alone try getting it liberia wihtout their consent. Taylor will need to do better than simply play the race card or fallguy card because the evidence are stackup against him. I will be looking forward to see the witnesses he produce for his defense.

    1. Eagle-eye

      You make nice points but some do get mixed up. here are examples:

      1. Mr. Taylor admitted that he had contacts and relations with RUF before he became president.

      2.Taylor said after he became president he no longer dealt with them as rebel-leader, but dealt with them in his capacity as president, member of ecowas, au and un.

      3. You continue to say that Mr. Taylor is outrightly denying. No, I do not agree. Mr. Taylor has presented facts to support his rebuttal. If you do have counterproof refuting mr taylor’s testimony provide them, do not just write note because a medium is available to do so.

      4. I do not know of anyone who has provided facts to disprove a lie. you can only provide evidence and alibi and those in themselves dispell the falsity. That is what Mr. Taylor has done. For instance, The salut report confirmed that it was not Taylor that promoted Bockarie to the rank of general as asserted by the prosecution. A second example, foday sankoh did not visit Liberia in June 2002, for he was under arrest, yet the prosecution presented witness who said that foday sankoh went to liberia and he gave taylor a 45 karat diamond and narrated the exchange to this witness afterwards.

      5. Such a testimony is only acceptable in this trial. in the first place it is a complete hearsay. He did not see sankoh hand deliver diamond to taylor. he was not present when taylor and sankoh allegedly met. Yet his testimony was admitted. Where in law would such happen. Only in this trial.

      6. Lastly you and I know that this whole diamond story is nonesense. Only those who do not know about the deposit and reserve of diamond liberia possess who make such foolish claims. You know the power president possess in Liberia so if taylor is president and waesua has all that diamond, what in the world does freetown diamond mean?

      Please be reasonable in your postings. If the prosecution can be so niave to falsify testimony then they are to blame when taylor walks. Because in law you are oath bound to say the truth. if a lie is found, you lost your case regardless of how many other truths you have. So the prosecution’s case is shaky.

  16. Wait a minute here ladies and gentlemen; stop this indirect blaming game over the technical problems we are currently facing on the site! This is not Tracy’s fault nor her responsibility that site is experiencing. We should continue to commend her and her staff for this opportunity they have provided to our benefit to watch and interact with eachother even if we diagree on issues. Go to other sites if you are really that desperate! Let’s be a little civil here because some of you who are whinning would have done worst and probably only post opinions in your favour..I rest my case..peace!

  17. Andrew, I think you are blindly arguing here. Of course I am aware of what Tyalor is saying and that is he had brief relationwith ruf in the begining anf later contacted them because the “international” community ask him to do so.

    But you see Andrew, that is where he will loose credibility becasue it has been shown that indeed he did and witnesses have testified to that, that is why the trial is still going on. Remember there was a motion for his acquittal after the prosecution rest their case and the judges decided against the motion and I believe their decisions were based mainly on the fact that there were evidence enough linking taylor to RUF. Unless you are saying that the court is made of unprofessional idividual and the entire process is worth nothing.

    The fact that he had a relation with ruf does not make him guility, unless he is hidding something why deny it when the relationship have been there for everyone to see.

    I have never said taylor was guility, the judges will decide base on the evidence but I fully supported the trial as I BELIEVE TAYLOR HAS QUESTIONS TO ANSWER OVER SIERRA LEONE’S CONFLICT. The prosecution will have the chance to cross examine Taylor. You had over 90 witnesses, the credibilty of all thoses witnesses cannot be considered bad because a salute report did not mentioned taylor.

    Regarding diamonds, Andrew don’t carry on down this run. Liberia has never had any major deposit large enough for industrial mine, therefore no major diamond mining company in liberia. Weasua you mentionwas long depleted and the deposit were of less value, that was when miners move down creek lofa bridge and kumbohun.

    To be honest the smallest diamond minig area of sierra leone, mainly in eastern area produces more diamonds in quality and quantity than found so far anywhere in liberia. If you move the Tongo and Koidu, this area is probably one of the biggest diamond minin area in west africa and produces some of the best quality diamonds in the world. Not taking anything away from liberia, we produce Iron Ore and Rubber and Sierra Leone do diamonds, that is the way its been, that is the way it is for now until we discover our own diamond mines. Weasua finished long ago and lofa bridge is small mining town produces low class diamonds and low quantity.

    1. Eagle eye(returns)

      It is apparent that you really do not understand the geological environment of Liberia. Liberia has as much if not more diamonds than SL. The reason why it is not so apparent to everyone is because of the way diamond is mined in Liberia as opposed to the way it is mined in SL. In Liberia there is only alluvial diamond mining being carried out. The Kimberlites that produce diamonds are below the surface. Consequently it appears that there is limited amounts of diamonds in Liberia. In SL because of the presence of companies there is a wider excavation and more mechanised form of mining than you find in Liberia.

      The same kimberlites that produce diamonds in SL extend into Liberia to produce those diamonds. Kimberlites are the source of diamonds. They are embedded in the earth and have branches like trees that expel diamonds. So why do you think the same tree of likmerlite will produce one kind or quantity of diamonds from one of its branches and a different kind rom the other in Liberia? Be real here.
      You are so bent on finding Taylor guilty that you are not being reasonable here.

      As to the issue of the Judges overturning the appeal for the motion of no case to answer , it is obvious that there would have been too many questions left unanswered had there just been a ruling of “No Case to Answer to”. It was very important that the issues were brought to the open and all allegations and assertions made by the Prosecution be dealt with. Fortunately for Mr. Taylor this is being done very adequately.

      Do you think that if indeed the Prosecution was so certain of their case and that there was no framing of evidence going on their would have been the need to introduce the use of second and third hand evidence into a trial such as this? If this man did these things according to them and they were convinced beyond reasonable doubt, they would have had to base this strong believ on solid concrete evidence. Where is this evidence as presentede byt the Prosecution? We have not seen any.

      All we have seen is circumstantial evidence, assumptions and hearsay. For godnees sake, how hard would it have ben to have provided one transaction of diamond trading for arms or the sale of diamonds being carried out by Taylor or on his behalf to show that indeed he did do this? There was none; neither was there any evidence provided of this alleged amassed wealth that Taylor supposedly has. WHY? Have you logically thought about this?

  18. This site is a really goodsite for all those who really wish to know what happened to charles taylor

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