Taylor Did Not Have Control Over Liberians Who Travelled To Sierra Leone, Blames West for Mis-information

Charles Taylor did not have any control or command over Liberians who traveled to Sierra Leone during its 11-year civil war and joined fighting forces there, he reconfirmed to judges today at his trial in The Hague.

Many former combatants from Liberia’s own conflict, who had migrated to Sierra Leone after Mr. Taylor came to power in Liberia in 1997, joined either the group of Liberians known as the Special Task Force – a group aiding the Sierra Leonean army – while some joined the Sierra Leonean rebel group, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), he said. Some, Mr. Taylor said, became prey for mercenaries due to their lack of food or jobs.

Mr. Taylor said that he, however, had no control or command over these fighters who had migrated to Sierra Leone and become part of fighting forces there, and could not have punished them for any crimes committed in Sierra Leone.

“How do you punish someone when he is not under your control?” Mr. Taylor asked the court. “You can only be responsible for people under your direct command.”

“Nobody can say that Taylor ordered me to do X, Y or Z. I did not have contact with them and there was no control over them. I did not help them in anyway,” Mr. Taylor told the judges.

Asked by his defense counsel Courtenay Griffiths what he did as newly elected president of Liberia to control such situation, Mr. Taylor said that the “only thing I could have done was to get international support to build schools and train people or engage them in projects to become productive citizens.”  He said this was not possible because he did not have any international support.

Mr. Taylor has been accused of supporting RUF rebels in Sierra  Leone by supplying them with arms and ammunition in exchange for Sierra Leone’s diamonds. The prosecution further alleges that in addition to sending Liberian fighters to join the rebels forces in Sierra Leone, he also provided safe haven for RUF rebels in Liberia. Mr. Taylor has denied the allegations.

In his testimony today, Mr. Taylor accused the United States and Great Britain of making these allegations against him based on rumors and misinformation.

Mr. Taylor referenced a 1999 Washington Post publication after the rebel attacks on Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown in January 1999. In the news article, Mr. Taylor said he was accused by the United States and Great Britain of supplying arms and fighters to rebel forces in Sierra Leone. Mr. Taylor said that his present trial, based on these allegations, is a form of punishment because he stood against the demands of these two countries.

“Firestone Rubber Company had been operating in Liberia since 1925. That company in 1925 did an agreement with the Liberian government for 99 years, 99 months, 99 weeks, 99 days, 99 hours, 99 minutes and 99 seconds. I come to office and I say that this is 99 set of nonsense and we must renegotiate this agreement, and that in fact Firestone had really done nothing for Liberia,” Mr. Taylor said.  This, he said did not go down well with the two great powers, the United States and Great Britain and they decided to “go after him”.

Mr. Taylor also confirmed a January 1999 United Nations report that Liberia had become a source for mercenaries. He explained that after the conflict in Liberia, the country had about 60,000 combatants from different fighting factions and he did not have control over all of them.

“The 60,000 figure we use here, these were not all NPFL [Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia rebel group]. These are the whole combatants from all sides. So to a great extent, we dont have control over a large amount of these people,” he said.

Mr. Taylor told the court that more needs to be done to solve the problems of conflicts in the West African sub-region than putting him to trial.

“The trials in Sierra Leone or the trial of Taylor will not end the problems in that region. They can only be resolved if we go to the root causes of these conflicts,” he said.

Mr. Taylor’s testimony continues tomorrow.


  1. Mr Taylor, just state your case….you have provided for the world FACTS as compare to HEARSAYS. by the prosecutors. I await for the cross but with these evidences produced, I cannot see where the prosecutors can counter except SPLIT hairs on your words. They had these very documents but REFUSED or didn’t care to seek them to atleast CLEAR the air.

    Pres. Kabbeh told TRC about Liberians fighting within and along the SL army….didn’t the prosecutors know this??

    1. HI NOKO4, I spell your name in capital letters today, not because you write on the truth but you being a patriotic supporter to Taylor! I am now convinced that even Taylor asked you to go eating shit, you are going to do just that!!! … oh, less I forget, please tell Taylor that the audience following this trial is becoming sake and tire of how many times the words “Rumors” and “Misinformation” is being abused by he Taylor. When is the audience going to hear for at least for once from the mouth of Taylor that this one is true? NOKO4, you know as well that there is no smoke without fire, and that also, in any rumor, there is a bit of truth. Take care and waiting for your bias comments, cause I know for sure are going to do.

      1. Gentle,
        I think Tracey was clean on the use of our language and lets keep the debate focus.

        Yaya, face it there are some that you will find biased toward Taylor and against. I think its so unfair to attack a person because they empathize with CT or the people of SL. No one is stupid or silly because they don’t see from your prospective. You and I may not agree with those who are supporters, yet we technically should not spew insults like your choice of word, “shit”. We might disagree bitterly, but let’s be respectful in our discourse. NOKO4 might seem though he supports CT innocence, so what if he does? His opinions will not affect the verdict. See, this is one of our problems in Africa, different views are not seen as a means to improve a situation, but as views from an “enemy”. So, Yaya, I am sure that we are all in agreement here that the focus should be the trail not the personal opinions, biases and insults.

        Lets debate my friend.

        1. Bnker and Andrew — thanks for helping us focus on the debate at hand. As you rightly point out, everyone contributing to the site is intelligent and thoughtful and hence do not need to resort to insults or offensive language in order to make their points about the trial. Mr. Taylor’s trial is indeed an emotional event, of course, but as you both have shown, along with other contributors to the site, we can have fiery debates on the issues while maintaining cool heads towards each other.
          Best to all

      2. Yaya,

        I believe that you are intelligent enough to engage in exchange of ideas on this website without resorting to unintelligible speech or words. I believe you, I and others should select the words we use so that we maintain the respect and integrity of this website. I believe Tracey, the moderator, has been sufficiently polite and clear enough in putting this point across. I hope my interjection is received with merits and henceforth we shall see improvements. I do not believe that we want to discourage other from visiting this site because they might dismiss our dialogue as disrespectful and the website as immature.

        1. I will try not to throw darts at the prosecution today or at CT, but focus on his testimony. CT made some statements today that are interesting. I am honestly and quickly losing confidence in the justice system, I am not sure why lady justice wears a veil (she doesn’t need it, justice is not blind). Taylor is accused of commanding RUF and “also provided safe haven for RUF rebels in Liberia.” Ok, lets take a walk down history here and the parallel of this accusation (safe haven) and behavior of other nations. I am sure some people have heard about the School of the America’s, Fort Banning, Georgia. This was a military base used to train rebels from Latin and South America to distablize their country. This was done under the disguise of fighting Communism and Ernesto Che Guevara. Some of the graduates are the former Chilean dictator, Chinope, others are Hugo Chevez (President Venezuela) and Manual Noriega (now a jail bird). Where did they stay while prior to their military mission, in the USA. Is this not providing a safe haven also? So one can say with the knowledge and consent of authorities these guys executed their missions; in the process, killing thousands. Even today, you have Black Water (a mercenary group) to avoid the negative stigma with the word, “mercenary” they are now considered, “military contractors”, meaning you pay the right price, we do your job. We see tons of killings by these people in Iraq.

          Lets travel to another part of the globe, I don’t want anyone to think I am only on the back of the USA. On the African continent the list goes on forever, South Africa trained and harbored dissidents from the region. Many of which were absorbed into the group, Executive Outcome (EO). Some years ago, Equatorial Guinea experienced a military coup. The members of this coup were all ex-members of Executive Outcome. How did they turn over power one may ask? Their former commander from the EO ordered that they relinquish it and they did. We also later learned of former British Prime Minister’s son, Mark Thatcher was accused of plotting to overthrow the government in Equatorial Guinea. Guess what, he and former EO people. He currently resides in South Africa, so South Africa protected and still protects rogue elements of society? Why isn’t anyone from the Aparthied government on trail for the EO?

          France, there is the infamous Bob Denard. Another mercenary who lived trained and recruited in France. Bob is known for distablizing the South Eastern part of Africa. To France credit, he is now in jail, but the times he ran wild, why isn’t someone in France held responsible for their actions?

          Does anyone see the injustice here? If CT is to be charged for these, bring in more African leaders, including Ghadifi since he has structure similar to the Schools of the America’s. He is known for sponsoring the movement that put Idris Debie, and Liberia. I am sure there are many more.

        2. TO ALL:

          FYI. If you are using your job computer and are sending out contains such as inappropriate language, I will inform you that the information is kept on the server. Another FYI, on the vulgar language, if you are again using your work computer and these insulting language is read and offends someone, guess what, you could find yourself accused of “harassment”, so let’s be intelligent.

          Finally, anyone who uses vulgarity constantly needs to go and get a dictionary, because it is a sign of limited vocab.

          Thoughts for today.

        3. Andrew, thanks for your comments and hope that things will surely improve. I am a computer guru and have developed lot of interactive website and also very used to rules and regulations governing such a forum. But sometime as participant, you turn to forget these things at one point in time, especially when in gear. Bro NOKO4, I am very sorry for using such a harsh word and hope that you do accept my apology. I actually never meant what you guys are thinking, maybe it the way the expression was used. Anyway, let that be that and proceed with our comments.

          1. Yaya – a very nice post of yours – we appreciate your thoughtfulness towards our fellow readers. Thanks and looking forward to more posts from you.

      3. Yaya,
        I guess you still be believe there are Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq also.
        You are seeing but refuse to see. You are hearing but refuse to hear.

      4. Now Yaya, let us consider some of your talking points. I believe that Mr. Taylor testified that he gave money to Sam Bockarie. I also believe that Mr. Taylor admitted that he established a guesthouse for the RUF.

        What I would like to hear from you is the truth that you are aware of that Mr. Taylor is not tell the world. And should I note that those truths of yours should be supported by evidence.

        1. Andrew, the truths mentioned here by you are just minors stuffs Taylor blended into his script to make the audience and judges believe he is saying the truth! I want to hear him admitting that he did support RUF, is having some blood money in some banks, and …

      5. Aye Yaya….why are you loosing your cool over a trial that we will NOT be ask for a verdict?? Is Mr. Taylor guilty of the charges?? NO!!!! Now if you read the CHARGES plus the MANDATE of this court, you will understand my take…..the MANDATE states, “SERIOUS VIOLATORS”. Regardless of his input if established, it still does not amount to “SERIOUS VIOLATOR” in my view.

        I have no problem with your view so let’s rock and roll with the FACTS been presented. The prosecutors brought us HEARSAY as evidences, Mr. Taylor brings us DOCUMENTS as evidences; in a nutshell, who are we to believe??

        And please DO NOT take this personal…..we are here to share knowledge. PEACE.

        1. Yaya,

          I have only one question for you, when you were younger remember when you stole your mother $1.00, did you admit that you took it, or you denied because of the consequence of your action? (kidding). But seriously, do you expect Taylor to admit that he supported the RUF. By admitting that means all the charges against him will stand. If Taylor confesses, then you know what, he is NOT AS SMART AS MANY THOUGHT! Believe me he won’t. You’ve heard the song by Shaggy, “It wasn’t me”, right. Regardless, he will never acknowledge it. If you are watching and hoping to see that, you will be attentive for a long time, my friend.

        2. Yaya,

          What exactly do you mean by “I want to hear him admitting that he supported the RUF”? So if the man did not give the support, he should still admit just to satisfy you? How exactly does that work?

          The giving of $2000 is not catrgorised as support. First of all if someone is a negotiator or mediator in a conflict, he/ she has to gain the confidence and trust of both sides. It was very pertinent to have given ssomething that would help to build this. If it was $2000 then that was a very small price to pay to gain the trust of Bokarie.

          How much do you know about diplomacy? It is normal practice for visitors to a leader to receive gifts. This is done everywhere. So what makes it different. It is considered simple curtesy and helps to break the ice before negotiations begin.

          I think you are being nitpicking here by focusing on a pittance $2000 which had the process of negotiation succeed would have been a small price to pay for the number of lives that would have been saved. Is the money money more valuable than the human lives that would have been saved in the process?

        3. Yaya, what “blood money” are you talking about again that he has “in some banks”? Look, be serious. SHOW THE MONEY, BANK SLIPS, TRANSACTION, ACCOUNT NUMBER, ROUTING NUMBER, CHECK NUMBER, AND NAME OF THE BANKS.

    2. Noko,my brother, I will honestly tell you the objective of the prosecution is not to help the people of sierraleone, west fafrica or the world atlarge. All they want to do is get at mr. taylor, tear him down, because some big power somewhere send them to do s. in that light, the real issues, if there was any, will be left on the wayside.The intent of this whole indictment is devious. SHOW US THE DIAMONDS!!! SHOW US THE MONEY>>>. SHOW US THE BANK ACCOUNTS…. HELLO!!!

      1. Cousin noko4…….simple, WHERE IS THE BEEF??? Seriously, the US and Britain thought this was going to be a cakewalk but they are getting what they asked for. All this has done is put pressure on the judges….how can they convict someone on HEARSAYS when that person is display tons of DOCUMENTS to back up his words???

        Mr. Taylor is NOT a fool in case some are wondering. He knows more than he’s telling about the TWO WAYS streets two nations. From the get go, I knew this case was NOt about Sierra Leone but something deeper and ‘Mr. Taylor in my view is just BROWSING IT……let them keep it up.

      2. Very well said Noko5.

        If we listen to what the first Chief prosecutor said to the US Senate, we will see the whole picture. He said the indictement was unsealed in Accra intentionally as a means of exerting maximum humiliation of Mr Taylor. Why would a Chief prosecutor want to humiliate an African Leader.

        We are not in the days of slavery anymore and we all know the mindset that David Crane came from that US Southern extreme right wing red neck mindset.

    1. God bless tayloer because he killed all our nimba people. You are right because you fought for him and killed our people.

      1. Manway,

        The people of Nimba was not the only group affected by war. The Nimba people joined Taylor movement because they were oppressed and later hunted down like animals by Samuel Doe. History will tell you that suppressed groups are more vulnerable to manipulation. Moreover, when attacked by the AFL, the NPFL was seen as security. It’s reason why kids join gang; protection and belonging. Furthermore, the people of Nimba trusted Taylor because of his long relationship with Qwinwonkpa and Tupee. So when the Army burned down villages and throw babies in well, and when Doe buried the kids behind the mansion (as alleged), these are attributed to Taylor? No! These acts only embolden more people to join and die for the cause they thought were right. In hindsight, we all regret Taylor presence in Liberia, but then again, Doe was no better either.

        Manway, we could go on forever on this and get nowhere, this site was set up to focus on the trail of Taylor not the people of Nimba or Liberia. If we want to do something about it, we need to set up our own and lets see how many fish we will drag in. We will get some big “boogga fish too”, like Prince Johnson, A. Dolo (General Peanut Butter), Moses Blah, Coco Dennis, Roland Duo, CT and the list could go on forever….we will pull rope and rope will pull bush.

        1. Bnker, I hope this is not a pseudonym, maybe we could meet one of these days. I write under my own name. Be that as it may, I must salute you for the inputs today. Great insights. We need to look beyond. Tracey mentioned something about developing civil institutions to encourage dialogue and advocate democratic values. This is what we need in Liberia and elsewhere in africa. This is why I advocate the the philosophy that the older guys should pass on the torch to the younger guys. I do not believe we will engage in withchhaunt and backbiting, oppression and excommunication or blacklisting, attitudes of past leaders that have stigmatized our democracy. we need to turn the page. what we have seen and learned from our travels due to the civil war can be used for the betterment of our peoples and countries. Let us look beyond.

      2. Mr. manway as you are calling yourself; The first correction i need to help you with is the problem of having you spell your own gio name. The word is ME-AN-WAY~!.Thank you.Let’s get to the point. I don’t think you have been following stories of atrocities in liberia, especially when it comes to who or which president slaughter the people of nimba county. you should be ashame of your self mr. MANWAY. Talk to CHARLES JULU, ask him about the little children he took away in his samuel doe death squad truck. It’s a bad thing when you grow without being EDUCATED. These kind of statements REALLY HURT some of us when uninform figures like you speak like that.

        who were there and know that the

        1. Andrew,

          You are correct, the problem with the “old guards” is that the perception of leadership and opposition is skewed. I’ve traveled to Liberia several times over the past few years and you are correct, Liberian leadership needs to not step aside totally, but create a succession plan or leadership team. Older leaders also need to change their philosophies that the young generation is aimless who does not have the knowledge and experience to advise. When one travels to Liberia, one understands the brain drain in our land.One sees a generation that is lost. Let me give this scenario, after the passing (because African politician never retire) of our so-called progressive leaders, the Sawyers, Rudolf Roberts (Tipoteh), Barron Tare, Sirleaf, Comenny Wisseh (not that I am looking forward to their death), but after they who are the next set of leaders? Of course there are the younger officials of government the like the Min of Defense, and Planning (yes, Planning. I know what I am saying. Some would say he is Mandingo and Muslim, so what, if he can lead Liberia well then so be it). Other than these, there are no others. So Andrew, you have a valid point, I won’t be so move fast to say step aside, I would rather say mentor us and listen as we reshape and restructure Liberia for the future generations. We’ve learned that a total dismantling or removing the old system can be counter productive. Liberian is more diverse today then ever. Diverse culturally, philosophically, ethically and even racially our approach for tomorrow should be holisticand strategic, and not a tactical approach.

          You know Andrew, there you go…you got me off course again. Shame on me, right!

          1. Bnker – for what it is worth, I don’t think you are totally off course. This website, of course, is not one which can or should be devoted to national politics per se — there are many other forums which exist that are better suited to such political discussion. However, your comments are related to the postings on the site, and to the extent that these high-profile trials of former leaders such as Mr. Taylor also underpin broader national discussions about leadership/accountability visions for the future of countries emerging from conflict more broadly (and most particularly, where the concept of the rule of law fits in with such visions), as well as an opportunity to understand and respond to the past, your comments, and those of others along similar lines, remain both relevant and welcome.


          2. Thanks Tracey. I try to make sure that we don’t lose the core purpose of this site. I find some of the people here full of wise, constructive, and logical ideas….I find it refreshing sometimes.


    2. Side note……why is the VIEW #1(ENGLISH SPEAKING) freezing but VIEW #2 which I believe is beam into Sierra Leone is NOT????

      1. That is true Noko4. I could barely watch the live stream today.


        Can you advise us on what is going on? Please make some inquiries. We hope this is not some sabotage so that people cannot hear all of the double standards that was at play with Mr. Taylor?

    3. James Blah, how could you in your right senses attribute the name of Almighty Allah to that of a criminal like Taylor??? He should be only associated to Lucifer. You can only say, May Satan showers his blessings on him (Taylor).

  2. Mr. Taylor, let’s get this straight…you hated Firestone’s contract and called it “nonsense” however, you used that very company as a base to attack and terrorized the population living in and around Monrovia. Was it not while you were based in Firestone that your notorious men arrested the Late Dr. Stephen Yekeson, brought him to you and you turtured him for days before murdering him? Yes, win the trial you are presently defending your neck and then we shall put you on trial for crimes commited against the people of Liberia..So long Taylor have a nice day in you VIP complex with no girlfriend to talk to…You get people laught at some the nonsense we are hearing!

    1. Ladies and Gentlemen,

      There is dispute that Firestone has not done much for our country. The profit reaped from liberia is dispropotional to the benefits that firestone give to the liberia people. the debate over what firestone should do or not do for our country persists simply because our big shots put their personal interest ahead of the interest of the nation. Otherwise we will be talking about firestone helping us to produce by-product from rubber like plastic bags, plastic packaging materials, plastic spoons and plates for parties, plastic toothpicks, raincoats that are solely made of rubber products, rainboots, even things like baby bottles, I mean anything that is a by-product of rubber could be produced in Liberia. can you imagine the number of jobs these kind of companies will create besides the contribution to gdp, national income and foreign exchange earnings? Look it is not late. firestone has a large plantation in Liberia, we can continue to negotiate with them to engage into some value-added economics for liberia. Let us not just criticise.

      1. Andrew,

        You are right. Why are we importing slippers and other rubber materials? This was one of the biggest faults that I found with the Tubman’s Open Door Policy, these companies should have added value productive services. Why aren’t we producing tires and exporting rubber derivative goods? This would have improved the standard of living amongst Liberians, increase government revenue base (corporate and personal taxes) and increase GDP. Again, it shows failure of the old system.

        Ok, enough economics for today….

        Research Economic Hitman. It might answer some of our questions about the trails and the West dealings with Africa. In short, they make a proposal, if you don’t like it, they overthrow or kills the leader. The hit squad is called the “jackals”

        1. I agree with you bnker its correct that you should have the industry on your door step for to have good wages for good work done by the people of Liberia not to export and some one else gets the benifit R.E.C.

    2. Please put all the other warlords, financiers of war that are currently in Liberia on trial first before waiting for President Taylor acquittal to put him on trial.
      Again, this is not about Liberia Taylor is on trial for, but Sierra Leone.

  3. “Firestone Rubber Company had been operating in Liberia since 1925. That company in 1925 did an agreement with the Liberian government for 99 years, 99 months, 99 weeks, 99 days, 99 hours, 99 minutes and 99 seconds. I come to office and I say that this is 99 set of nonsense and we must renegotiate this agreement, and that in fact Firestone had really done nothing for Liberia,” Mr. Taylor said. This, he said did not go down well with the two great powers, the United States and Great Britain and they decided to “go after him”.

    Charles Taylor say it as it and let the chips fall where they may!

  4. Infact its time Liberia takes a new look of the relationship with the United States of America. This trial has exposed this relationship and Liberia has not benefited from this.

    America must compensate the Liberian People! after this trial I will have to do a research on Liberia and American relations. Its something every Liberian must take a critical look at. And Africa as a whole.

    American can not be trusted at all.

  5. Is the UN court really a court of fair play or it is a moot court of the western government who felt that Taylor should be prosecuted since he did not take instructions from them when he was president of Liberia. The point I want to make here is why will an elected president from another country be prosecuted for crimes committed by babarians in their own country.
    Who can prove to the so-called UN court that Mr Charles Taylor visited the front lines in Sierra Leone as he used to do in Liberia; did he laid on ambushes or held cutlass to amputate anyone? Please leave Charles Taylor alone, he is no more president of Liberia to block the exploitation of Liberia resources as was done in the past by great powers.
    If it is supporting group/s militarily to suppress their perceived enemies, there are super powers that are supporting some African governments that are suppressing their citizens… yes they are immune from prosecution. Sierra Leone government had right for their airport to be used to kill the Liberians with jet bombers… God is watching us. Thanks for your time

  6. The Prosecutors were told to fix Taylor, and they have done exactly the same.As far as they are concerned anyone they try is GUILTY unless proven innocent.I recall a Prosecutor saying Hinga Norman will never ever see the light of day,even before the trial begin

  7. I agreed that Mr. Taylor is being punish in this white man court because of his refusal to meet U.S. and Britain evil demans for the wealth of Liberia. But let me warn you that there are more Taylor to come after remote control Ellen Johnson comes 2011 elections. No more will Liberians sign a consrtact that will last for 99yrs, 99months, 99weeks, 99days, 99hrs, and 99sec. That sound very stupid to today human race.

  8. Noko4

    Don’t be surprise when the prosecutor begin to insult Mr Taylor out of frustration. I am sure he will deal with that in a mature manner.

    They will try to lure him into this confrontation just to distract him but I am pretty sure that he will be prepared.

    I am pretty sure that the judges have a better picture in their minds now for Mr. Taylor then they had before.

    Noko4, Aki you guys keep up the good work.

    May God blessed Mr. Tyalor


    1. Zobon,
      If that’s her strategy, it will fall FLAT on her face. He is not that STUPID to know and see the end result……everyone in that court have sense he’s in the lead.

      I must give it to his defense team…..

  9. I agree 100 percent that the Charles Taylor trial wiil not end the problem in Africa. I think what needs to be done is that Africans should learn how to solve their owe problems, not always looking up to the west for solution.

  10. Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    It is time for the old generation of african leaders to hand power to the new generation. We acknowledge the effort that they put into accomplishment of african freedom, creation of the oau now au, and the achievement of sufferage for our people. But they should accept that their time is over. There is no need to perpetuate oneself in power when their constitutional term is over. we should not be amending constitution only to keep the president in power. we should develop civil society that will compel compliance with the rule of law.

    We believe there is still more to be done in Africa. Look when you travel in the west and here in america, all the states are connected by train. why can’t all states in africa be connected by train. We can have the west african regional trail rail, that connnects all west african states and that rail can connect to the central african states and then to the eastern african states and so forth. Here in america and I believe also in europe, you can travel by land/automobile from one state to the other on super highways. Are these people the only ones who can achieve these types of development for their various countries? Of course the answer is an emphatic No. So african must come together to begin to rethink the direction of our continent. The older guys I believe should give way to the younger guys.

  11. Does the ‘WatchLive’ – link -1 get cut-off becuse if anyone in the Western World (English speaking version) watch the trial they will understand what this case is about. It is probably easier to clasify CT as a cannibal and just convict him, as people are missing out on the KEY testimony by CT, and will just hear the prosecution…

  12. Yaya, it is a pity that you wish to hear Mr. Taylor say what you want to hear. Since you have your mind set and already know what transpire during the course of that time; why not go to bed and wait for that time when the judges will be rendering their final verdict so you can hear what you have already decided. It doesn’t suprise me that your likes would not follow the merit of this case.Mr. Taylor admits that there was a guesthouse for the RUF in monrovia is it not an admission to something that existed at the time. Had he deny this then we would have reason to question his testimony. Becuase some of us have never left this country and we have follow Mr. Taylor activities religiously. So there are some things we do not need people to tell us. We follow Mr. Taylor testimony closely to either hear him confirm what some of us already know or deny what we also know and moreover, hear lots of revelation about those things that we do not know. Then we are able to analyse as to wether he is saying the truth. My you, Mr. Taylor is making up his case and you have to firstly understand the prosecution case and listen to Mr. Taylor as he make up his case to disprove the allegation level against him. So Yaya, its not what you want to hear. its the things that you done know that will be said is what matters.

    Now, know one needs to tell that the prosecution case was characterized by hearsay, theysay and either third party. When evidence is base on hearsay then it becomes rumors. If evidence is base on third party then it becomes misinformation because the truth can be distorted as it is pass from one person to the other. So you have to understand these things my Brother. and get use to Mr. Taylor saying these things because that baiscally what the prosecution case is made of.

    Good day

    Gemenie Hardy

  13. J. Jallah menjor, do you know that is was during the presidency of CT that the conditions of workers got improved in firestone? Let me also inform you that, that 99yrs contract has since been revisited and the workers are enjoying the dreams of CT.

  14. Yaya, thanks for telling my brother sorry, because you know I was bypassing to come for you. But YAYA DON’t TRY ANY NOKO!!! ok.

  15. Ladies and Gentlement,
    Below is a link to a nice read/blog on the some of the activities and role of Firestone in affairs of the people of Liberia.What Mr. Taylor touched on in yesterday’s trial goes to the heart of most of types of negotiations that our leaders conclude with so-called investment/development partners. The revelations that are emerging from these trials should serve as an eye opener for us to exert the kind of pressure necessary to effect changes in the behavior of our leaders. You can conclude clearly that over the years firestone and the US government have acted to protect their individual and collective interest. The question is in whose interest did the Liberian government officials act. You can understand why rubber was not included as a commodity in the economic sanctions that was imposed on liberian resouces from sale on the international market.

    Young generations of Liberians and african leaders we must wake up. What Taylor started is definite a wake up call. And it should continue.


    1. Thanks. I will take a look at it. Firestone knows that if these things of labor law abuse makes it to CNN or other news media, they could lose money–big time too.

      I will tell you an odd story, I had a friend in college who had a PhD and widely read. When he discovered that I was a Liberian, he asked me a questioned that shocked me, you all have Firestone in Liberia right, I go, yea. He said US companies are good at sponsoring coup d’etat when countries get tough on renegotiating their agreements–Tolbert was in the process of renegotiating Firestone’s contract with Liberia. He (my friend) then gave me his experience in Chile. He served as tour guide to an American company’s executive, and the guy told his friend, this country has changed since the last time we sponsored the coup. He said he became enraged that companies in the West would actually sponsor such. Besides, his wife was Chilean.

  16. Yaya,

    We have to confine our thought as it relates to this trial within the timeframe in question(i.e. when Taylor assumed and exited the presidency of Liberia). When Taylor became president I beleive it was economically difficult for him to manage the affairs of Liberia as he would have desired because he was faced with multiple sanctions. Besides as president, his interaction with the RUF was official especially when he became the head of the committee of five.

    With regards to the alleged money trail from the Sierra Leonean diamonds, it will be amazing if this trial does ends without solving that puzzle. I know the judges will be bewildered to convict under such circumstances. The prosecution has the united nations and allies of US and England on their side. If such account existed do you not think the prosecution would have taken a marathon sprint to the judges by now? let us see what happens.

  17. Bnker,

    I hope you read the link I posted today regarding the investigation the TRC made on Firestone. I am so much in agreement with you. The older guys should consider themselves as mentors. We do not need 27 years of Tubman-Liberia, 40 years of Eyeadema-Togo, and 50yrs of Omar Bongo- Gabon and still counting years of Gaddafi. The west and america are looking up to Ghana as an example of sub-saharan africa democracy in the new order. I am sure Liberia can enter that realm. Coming out of this trial should be the advocacy of the type of institutional accountability, vision and leadership that Tracey has been alluding to. Some forum must emerge to facilitate the avent of such ideas. We might not have the answers now but surely we can find it. so ladies and gentlemen, let us remain torch bearers.

  18. “The trials in Sierra Leone or the trial of Taylor will not end the problems in that region. They can only be resolved if we go to the root causes of these conflicts.”

    Well said CT.

    If we go to the root causes of these conflicts, for example, the root cause of the war in Sierra Leone.
    It started when you, CT, resolved to assist Sankor to bestow war on Sierra Leone.
    You started training Sankor’s Men at Camp Naima, Belefanna in Bong County.
    It was from that Camp that Sankor lunched this bloody war against the people of Sierra Leone.
    We all know that Sankor could not have gone to war without you “Rebelistic Strategic Intuitions”(RSI).

    You became the Rebel Oracle for Sankor and his rebel army. We all know why you are under trial today.
    You may think you are smart but, you own words will incriminate you to death.
    As we get to the root causes of all these conflicts, Liberia and Sierra Leone, you will by no means be a free man.

    You trial today will serve as a GUILLOTINE for those like you and wanting to be like you.
    And let us see that after you trial and your down fall whether this West African Sub-region will once more roll back into rebel anarchy.

    Introspect Taylor, you are a typical Americo-Liberian.

    By your fruits, you shall be judged, Charles Taylor.

    1. Kessely,

      OK. I understand that you have your personal opinions about Charles Taylor and please keep it to that. I take serious exception to your reference to “Americo-Liberia”. As you may guess by now, I am of Americo-Liberian ancestry. Taylor’s behavior does make all Americo-Liberians evil. Maybe you need to understand biology and sociology. There are two factors that make a person who they are; one, genetics and the second, their environment. So, when ignorant, premature statements are made about an ethic group (any for that matter) I take serious exception to it. Lets look at statistics, because a lot of young men fought in Liberia, does it make you a rebel? Or because a larger percentage of African American are incarcerated does it mean that all African Americans are bad? Also, because Samuel Doe killed 13 ex-officials of the Tolbert government and his men massacred people in the Lutheran Church and UN Compounds, does it make the “country or indigenous man” an animal? If you say yes to all, this then my friend congratulations you have discovered who you are. I don’t have to spell that out to you, do I now? Unless you, and people of your like with little or no tolerance for diversity are given roles of responsibility, you poison our office it with people of your own ethnic group. It’s unfortunate that people like you and of your limited knowledge still are around.

      So just in case I’ve said too much for your limited comprehension, if you hate CT, so be it, but DO NOT SAY TAYLOR IS THE “TYPICAL AMERICO-LIBERIAN”. Would you rather me say, you are the typical “country man” or “typical Lorma man”? You know what, you will never get me to stoop to your low intellect and intolerance. Because if I do, I would have surrendered my humanity to barbarism–your way of thinking.

      Just talk about the trial and I expect you and others who might have limited exposure to knowledge, and education to read and accept diversity. I hope you understand! In simple english, “tok abt de trail yah”.

      Folks of the forum, sorry, but I just had to let some emotions surface.

    2. Kessely,

      Are you sure you have been following the trial? Did you not hear that Sankoh was in training long before Taylor and his NPFL arrived on the base? Also how could Taylor have taught an ex Sierra Leonean soldier about war wehan Taylor himself is not a soldier.
      Did you know that Sankoh spent 8 years of a 12 year sentence in prison in Sierra Leone in the late 70s early 80s for attempting to overthrow that government? It seems to clear that Sankoh had a lot of beef to ground with the Sierra Leonean government and did not need Taylor to steer him along.

      As for your comment about ‘Americo-Liberian’, I just find immatured and divisive. This is not about that and by making disparaging remarks about one group of people in the country is very offensive to say the least. I am sure others could make many offensive statements about the tribe you come from but to what avail. Only vindictive narrow minded individuals would resort to such. I hope you would desist from refering to any one ethnic grouping in a degrading manner.

      Let’s stick to the program, The Trial.

    3. My friend,

      Ooooooooo, you are bitter! I will now address your issues with the trail. I could have done it earlier but I was emotionally charged. Your said,

      “If we go to the root causes of these conflicts, for example, the root cause of the war in Sierra Leone It started when you, CT, resolved to assist Sankor to bestow war on Sierra Leone.—allegedly (should be the operative word). Have you heard the phrase “innocent until proven guilty?”

      You started training Sankor’s Men at Camp Naima, Belefanna in Bong County””–Correction, this is alleged. Again you are alleging. How do you know that’s were Sankor’s men were train? Please don’t say, “I telling you mehn” or “I heard” if this is your proof, you need to join the big tent in the Hague and your friend Zig Zag. You see, this could all be true, but until the prosecution provide evidence, what you and I say, “don’t mean swat”

      “We all know that Sankor could not have gone to war without you “Rebelistic Strategic Intuitions”(RSI).” Cheeeaaah, de man speak book oh. So who what is the “Rebelistic Strategic Institute (RSI)? Is this a real thing? Please clarify.

      “You became the Rebel Oracle for Sankor and his rebel army”–another allegation

      “You may think you are smart but, you own words will incriminate you to death”–FYI the UN and EU disapproves of the death penalty. Europe is not Texas when Bush was governor. CT, I predict will get about 20 year… not the death penalty as you hope for–sorry to burst your bubble.

      Finally, you suggested that Taylor, is “a typical Americo-Liberian”. I’ve already addressed your insensitivity. You are an angry man. Have you been through trauma counseling yet, I think the war could do irreparable damage to you psychologically. Seek counseling while you still have some level of sanity. Believe me, I am being polite to you too.

      So, all you’ve said are allegations. There is a saying, if you continue to tell and lie over and over, you and others will start to believe it–keep on maybe you can attract some followers, OK.

  19. Kessely, stop relying on other institutions and individuals to fight your political battle againt President Taylor. Stand on your own two feet.

  20. Finally, I’ve heard Taylor admit something I too have said on many of these blog responses. The root of the conflict in the West African region is what needs to be solved.

    The root of the conflict in the Liberian region in my opinion started when the first boats of the American Colonization Society arrived in that region. If we want to be technical it started when these people were stolen, or sold into slavery. Again, I urge those who are interested to read “The Miseducation of the Negro”, read what the author says about the “slavocracy” established in Liberia and how he predicts the present-day predicament almost exactly as it has unfolded. The 99 year Firestone Rubber company deal is a direct result of this “slavocracy”. Who we might ask were the people in power when this deal was made?
    We villainized the brother who mentioned “typical Americo-Liberian”. I think perhaps he was merely trying to highlight the conflict as old as the republic of Liberia itself between those known as indigenous/native to Liberia vs. those whose ancestors were transplanted in that region. The fact of the matter is due to inter-marriages, etc. nobody is quite “Americo-Liberian” as much as they might like to claim it. When we all begin to see that we are all fated as “Liberians” no matter what, perhaps that will solve this problem.

    My problem with Taylor and his defense so far is that he speaks from this high and mighty moral seat about Western dominance and hypocrisy but he has not only benefited from but asked for Western support. Of course he is not going to come out and admit the wrong he HAS done. All he has done so far is point a finger at the US and Great Britain, and other people that did this, but what about the bad things that you did?? Did you do everything right ALL the time? He admitted earlier in this trial that the only thing he did wrong was agree to pull out from the capital per US orders to stop bloodshed. But this was after years of waiting for the US to come help your movement??

    I agree that just Taylor’s indictment or otherwise is not going to solve the issue. HOWEVER the man has blood on his hands, we cannot ignore that b/c the other people with blood on their hands have not yet been brought to trial. It is my utmost hope that they will be as well. You can train a revolutionary and then you can train a despot, I’ve found there’s a fine line between the two. And if at the end of your revolution things have not gotten better, then yes, you should step down and be questioned on the 15 yrs of people’s lives you wasted. This is MY opinion of Taylor. Again the rotten apple he created in Liberia started to spoil neighboring regions as well, not a surprise that he hasn’t made it to the hall of fame of great African leaders.

  21. One final point, these sanctions and disdain Taylor got from the international community when he was “elected” in 1997 in my opinion were also necessary given the tons of human rights abuses that occurred during the war. You can talk about media frenzy this and media frenzy that but when a reputable humanity devoted organization such as Human Rights Watch reports on Child Soldiers in Liberia and Sierra Leone or perhaps shares a video of Congo rape victims, do we just dismiss that as media frenzy and say it was taken out of context?? Taylor seems to be implying this alot. That the media is making up stuff and that the international community didnt support him.

    NO, these things happened and of course you will get no international support. You are not even close to Castro, Mr. Taylor who can at least provide health care to all the people in his country with US sanctions!

    Eventually I pray that Taylor and all the others responsible will be on trial for those things as well. It’s not about weapons of mass destruction here, there were children carrying guns, and young girls being raped rampantly, there is proof. We’ve all seen and heard from the victims so to compare these things to the war in Iraq is rather baseless.

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