Prosecutors Accuse Charles Taylor Of Using Child Soldiers In Liberia

Charles Taylor recruited and used children for military purposes in Liberia and it was therefore no surprise to him to learn that Sierra Leonean rebel forces were also using child soldiers during the West African country’s 11-year conflict, prosecutors said today during the former Liberian president’s cross-examination.

Lead prosecutor Brenda Hollis who is conducting Mr. Taylor’s cross-examination went through evidence that Mr. Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) rebel group used child soldiers during the Liberian conflict. Mr. Taylor denied Ms. Hollis assertions. Ms. Hollis further suggested that because of Mr. Taylor’s actions in using child soldiers in Liberia, it came as no surprise to him to know that child soldiers were being used by Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), an illegal junta regime that overthrew the elected government of Sierra Leone in 1997. Mr. Taylor said that he had no idea of what the RUF and AFRC did in Sierra Leone. 

“You yourself had armed children, some as young as eight years old,” Ms. Hollis accused Mr. Taylor today.

“That is total nonsense. Every child that I held I put in an orphanage,” Mr. Taylor responded.

Mr. Taylor denied that his forces had child soldiers who patrolled the Liberian border with Ivory Coast in the early 1990s. He also said that it was not to his knowledge that children were acting as bodyguards to his NPFL commanders.

In response to prosecution allegation that he “used children as young as 10 to man check-points,” Mr. Taylor said that “I did not use any children as young as 10 to man check-points. There were soldiers and some of them had their relatives around them but I did not use any children to man check-points.”

As Ms. Hollis asserted that “use of child soldiers by the RUF and AFRC was no surprise to you,” Mr. Taylor responded that “I have no knowledge of what the AFRC and RUF did in Sierra Leone.”

In pointing out the activities of Mr. Taylor’s NPFL in Liberia, Ms. Hollis has been trying to convince the judges that Mr. Taylor knew of similar activities by Sierra Leonean rebel forces but could do nothing to stop them because he was doing the same things in Liberia. Referencing what the RUF rebels did in Sierra Leone, Mr. Taylor responded that “what they did in those areas was not in consistent pattern with me. That is not correct.”

“No surprise to you of what they (RUF) did in Sierra Leone because it is the same that you did in Liberia,” Ms. Hollis persisted. “You were not truthful when you said that crimes committed in Sierra Leone were of surprise to you because they did not happen in Liberia,” she added.

In his response, Mr. Taylor said that “I had no knowledge of the inner workings of the RUF and AFRC.” He added that crimes such as amputations were not committed in Liberia and cases of rape were severely dealt with.

“Your forces committed amputations,” Ms. Hollis said.

“You know that is not true because there are no records of amputations in Liberia,” Ms. Taylor responded.

On the crime of rape, Mr. Taylor said that “I was surprised at rape because people in the NPFL who committed rape in Liberia were executed.”

Ms. Hollis also told Mr. Taylor that “the crimes in Sierra Leone were a reflection of the crimes your troops committed in Liberia. Using children in combat was a reflection of what your forces did in Liberia.”

“That is totally erroneous and incorrect,” Mr. Taylor responded.

Mr. Taylor also today denied prosecution allegations that his forces massacred civilians in Liberia and that he failed to take action against them. Ms. Hollis pointed that NPFL commanders such as Mark Guan, Melvin Sogbandi, Momoh Gibba and Mr. Taylor’s son Chuckie Taylor, all at one point or the other led forces to kill civilians in various towns and villages including Bomi County, Lofa County and Gbatalla. He said that he never received reports that any of these commanders had killed civilians. As Ms. Hollis tried to present documents in support of her assertion, such as the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report, the judges ruled that such evidence was probative to the guilt of the accused, and since the prosecution had not proved that the use of such new documents will be in the interest of justice or that it will not affect the fair trial rights of the accused, they could not be used in the cross-examination of Mr. Taylor.

Mr. Taylor’s cross-examination continues tomorrow.


  1. Tens of millions of dollars spent on prosecuting this man for alleged crimes in Sierra leone and all they can come up with is about crimes in Liberia.

    1. Even if Taylor is not convicted in this trial, the national security of the West African region and Liberia demands that he remains incarcerated for his lifetime.

      If Taylor were to be tried for his crimes in Liberia, it would unearth too many secrets of our foreign “allies” who brought Taylor to power and sustained him.

      But who can Liberians blame? When Tolbert was there, Liberians cried, “help! help! help!” Doe got there, Liberians still cried “help! Help! Help!” So there were only a few Liberians, including Taylor, brave enough to challenge Doe. In it all, I take my hat off to the Late Elmer Johnson, who was a true patriot and son of Liberia. Then when Taylor got there, and after sing the loyalty songs to Taylor, Liberians started to cry “help! Help! help!” again.

      So, getting rid of Taylor was also in our foreign “allies’” best interests for “peace and quietness” in Liberia and the region. Also, he and his boyz were stealing too much, ignoring the plight of the masses of Liberian people, and becoming an international problem. Moreover, Taylor was incapable of maintaining the “peaceful and quiet” Liberia our foreign “allies” wanted and needed, so he had to go! And our own GW Bush was not taking any nonsense about it. Taylor sensed that and went flying out of Liberia.

      Now, knowing quite well that Taylor is incapable of staying silent or quiet, out of sight, and/or our of politics in Liberia; and knowing that Taylor’s intervention, involvement, and/or participation in the political affairs in Liberia and/or the region will result in more of the same problems and the possible destabilization of the region and Liberia again, it is in the best interests of the international community, America, ECOWAS, Liberia and the region to have Taylor remain in jail for his lifetime; not primarily for Liberia’s or Sierra Leone’s sake but for the sake of keeping “peace and quiet” in the region so as not to cause our foreign “allies” any more headaches.

      I may be wrong, but let’s watch and see!

      ALUTA CONTINUA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Ms. Hollis and her JACK SPOT TRC report failed to sail through again. The clock is slipping down day by day and we are yet to see a piece of hard code evidence against Mr. Taylor. I wounder what would the next document? I think Ms. Hollis need to contact one of her major witnesses Tom Kamara in order to send her copies of his New Democart news paper. Ever since Tom Kamara left the witness stand, not a single day passes by in Liberia without Tom Kamara publishing a story about Mr. Taylor allege involvement in Sierra Leone.

    Harris K Johnson

  3. It’s funny how Ms. Hollis and Charles Taylor is going back and forth accusing and disputing each other claims. This trial is about SL, but what really sound funny to me in this trial is that Ms. Hollis is making her case about Liberia’s war to link it to SL and as long they continue to talk about Liberia, Charles Taylor will deny everything. It’s funny how everyone in this world whoever saw video tapes from the war in Liberia saw under aged kids been used to fight. Taylor will always deny this because this trial is not about Liberia, let Ms. Hollis focus on SL. I am getting sick of all this lies going on between both sides of this trial. All those rebel commanders that is mention in this article are all ruthless killers and me experiencing the war myself in Liberia, knows how ruthless they were, as evidence proved the verdict against Taylor’s son Chuckie. My point is that let the trial focus on SL and not Liberia, because Taylor will continue to lie about all this allegations. If this was about Liberia, this trial wouldn’t have lasted this long, the verdict would be GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY because there are evidence to back these allegations. Like I said before, i am dissapointed in this trial, but i am also very optimistic that the court system will make the best decisions based on facts. This trial has opened old wounds for many people from SL and Liberia and hope justice is serve properly.

  4. It’s like the most controversial Truth and Reconciliation Commission document is the only hope now for the prosecution. If only the prosecution know how contested that document is here, they will trash every single piece. That document is biased and is solely intended to select certain members of the society.

  5. Good. That is what happen when you give Taylor an inch he will take a mile. The court has been allowing Taylor to his way even addressing Ms. Hollis as he wishes. Very soon the true nature of Taylor will soon surfaces.

    1. So what is your point Big Joe? have you got any credible evidence to help Ms Holis with? or are you now insinuating that the court is now biased in favor of Mr Taylor? is it not the same court that changed its rules to allow hearsay evidence in contrast to other courts? comeon Big Joe let the prosecution focus on proving its case rather than trivialities.

  6. To my understanding Alpha, Mr Taylor has since been accused of using Children as Child Soldiers, and he is now been cross examine for the use of Child Soldiers. So I think your heading should have been…The Prosecutors have been cross examining Mr Taylor of the alleged use of Children as Child Soldiers, but not…”Prosecutors Accuse Charles Taylor of Using Child Soldiers in Liberia”.

  7. Hey

    Still nothing what Ms Hollis is trying to establish was destroy by Prosecutor witness Moses Blah when in his Testimonies he pointed out the Military structure and behavior of the N.P.F.L.

    My Blah told this court that the N.P.F,L was a Military organization we did not ask our boss where he was getting his support from.

    On the other hand witness like the R.U.F radio operator said that he used to ask Sam Borkari where he used to get his arms and ammunition from so you see the pattern is different.

    Mr Blah even spoke about the N.P.F.L court that try cases and the R.U.F never had anything thing of such so if the N.P.F.L had a Tribunal while the R.U.F did not have one.

    Look there is no way the prosecutor can proof anything The behavior patter was never the same from between the R.U.F and the N.P.F.L sorry Ms Hollis i do not think your technique will help

    I will Take This time 2 wish my President a Very Happy B-Day

    We Love u



  8. Mr. Taylor is a pathetic liar. He had an enitre unit known as the SMALL BOYS UNIT. They were in security details, so while should he lied like that.
    Those boys are on videos from recordings of the Liberian Civil War. Mr. Taylor to lied about the obvious is making me to think that he is indeed guilty of all the things that he is accused of. In the past he denied Buckarie that was so visible in his security apparatus and today, he’s saying there were no child soldiers. Lies, Lies and Lies.

    1. Patrick Tarr,

      Ibelieve Mr Taylor did deal with the issue of child soldiers during his direct examination. He explicitly said that the Small Boys Unit was not a fighting force. There were a lot of young boys who roamed around as a result of their older relatives being on the frontline or their parents being killed. Some of those youn boys went with their relatives to the front but were not a formal part of the NPFL fighting force.

      The SBU was composed of young boys who were used for security purposes on the base as they were roaming around without anyone to look after them. This was a way of providing some guardianship for these young people who had lost their families. Thes young people were not as youn as they look. They were all teenagers and none were as young as six as the question was put to Mr Taylor. Do not forget, us as Africans are not always as young as we look. There are people who look one age and is a lot older because of the way we are. A lot of young people are mal-nurished and so their growth is stunty.

      In any case, this is not a strange phenomena in guerilla wars at all. Even during other conventional wars, young men have been inscripted into the fighting force. In wars all around the world young men have joined in defence of ther heritage. The issue is what is considered an appropriate age for someone to avenge the death of a love one? If you saw your entire family massacred before your very eyes would you not want to avenge those responsible?

      A lot of the young boys saw the former AFL of Doe come into Nimba county and massacre their families. They wanted to avenge this execrable behaviour of these soldiers and consequently went of their own accord to do so. The NPFL then seeing this behaviour decided to incorporate into a group and keep them on the base in the rear for their own protection.

      I know this because my cousin was one of these young men. His mother and younger sister was gunned down by Doe forces in Nimba. He saw it all and vowed to revenge their deaths. He was later brought to the NPFL base as he had made attempts to go to the front to fight and was refused by the NPFL commander there. He ended up on the base seriving in differnt capacities but not as a fighter. Today he is alive because the commander refused to allow him to fight.

      If this was the policy why wasn’t e allowed to join the fighting force? This was no policy of the NPFL to forceably conscript soldiers as was seen in the case of the RUF. The NPFL was made up of volunteers who were willing to fight for that organisation.

      1. Helen,
        This what happened to some who are NEW to this site and the case evidences presented. Instead some taking their time to atleast UNDERSTAND, they called name…..

        Thanks for helping Patrick…I pray he will take the time and read some of the past transcripts.

    2. Patrick Tarr,
      Did the child soldiers have any identifying uniforms which would make you conclude that they were N.P.F.L. soldiers ? You see with the statement you made above you are having the same problem the prosecution is having. It is easy to make allegations but proving them are much harder.

      1. Aki,
        Please! Your logic is flawed…because the kids didn’t wear uniform mean that they were not part NPFL, so could they have been ULIMO, or CRC mixed him with NPFL fighters? Since most of the rebel soldiers didn’t wear uniform, this movement didn’t exist? Wise, my brother wise…really sad! So based on your reasoning that there since were no uniform, that means the NPFL, ULIMO and other factions never existed; and the hundreds that were exiled were running from the figment of their imagination, and the those killed behind rebel lines were never killed by rebels soldiers since they never wore uniform. INTERESTING!

        Honestly, Aki, you”ve placed your argument in a category all by itself. I have seen some things and poor logic, but this one “pass mark”. You have even further degraded those who were murdered at the hands of these children and others who you say never wore uniform; therefore they were not part of the NPFL or any other group by identification. I am done, commenting on anything you are going to say hence forth. I guess your so-called clarification (on the death of Jackson Doe et al.) was from a stance of temporary guilt, it was not genuine. If you lost anyone in your immediate or extended family, their life and painful death is worthless to you (that’s what you’ve insinuated). But, since they are not “worth a gain of salt” to you, to me and others they were part of what we consider Liberia. They were an important part of what we call “our nation and people”; they are valued by someone who don’t even know them…I am sorry that you have so selfishly ignored or denied their existence—-since the rebel soldiers didn’t wear uniform. This is exactly what Big Joe was stating, we only think about ourselves and nothing else.

        Rather than we fight for Taylor (who most have not met and will never meet–that I’ve met and he knows my parents and family) we need to figure ways to move this nation forward. Others have contributed, I have done a bit and still have much more to do….and I don’t need compensation for attempting to make Liberia a better place for you and others to live. Besides, who wants to live in the USA forever–I don’t. That’s why at every moment I get I jump on a plane and travel outside. Maybe, just maybe, we need to start thinking in that direction. I sure hope you use your individual talent to help rebuilt what INPFL destroyed (since NFPL didn’t wear uniform and INPFL did). Aki, man, I am sick at the stomach……I am so done!

      1. Hi Noko5 — we can still revisit issues we have already discussed though too, right?

        1. Tracey,
          It’s NOT the issue of REVISIT but the BLANET POINTING OF FINGERS. Patrick not knowing the FACTS like many of us, went on HEARSAY..of course that’s the ONLY evidence I have seen in this court.

  9. So can anyone say that child soldiers were not used in Liberia by the NPFL? I am not relating this to the trial in SL. I want this to be mutually exclusive. For those who want to see my tread on this portion, I refer you to the Jan.26.

    1. bnker,

      If you are so much concerned about Liberia, go there and deal with the other war lords for destroying your country or what ever beef you may have with people allegedly using child soldier. Right now in this court, you don’t have any control over anything that goes on or with Mr. Taylor. But you made have control over things that go on in Liberia. For example: campaing against president Sirleaf, Prince Johnson, Brownie Samukai, Dr. Sawyer, deminte conneh, Thomas Yaya Nimely, Dr. Fahnbullah, Dr. George Boley, Kromah, Ahmed Yulu, and etc. These are the people, you as a Liberian have control over right now and not Taylor who is in the hands of the powerful. Besides, as you rightfully said, this case is not about Liberia. Therefore stick to Sierra Leone.

      1. Jose,
        I so like how you all try to side-sweep comments about atrocities committed in Liberia by the NFPL and other groups.

        I have made my position clear about the TRC report recommendations…you have not. I stand somewhere when it comes to Liberia and punishment for ill-fates and cancerous individuals in our society. So, if you’ve taken time to read my treads and try to understand, you probably wouldn’t have asked this question….I remember Tracey even asked about the ramifications of the recommendation on our national development and I answered. Sorry, Jose but you are behind the “eight” ball on this one.

        1. Bnker,

          No body is sweeping aside any comments made about Liberia’ atrocities here. And besides, the TRC report that you made mention of is not even being respected by Ellen. And it has no bearing on Liberia until it can be respected and implemented. So your take on the TRC could have a good intention, but means nothing. Another thing bnker, Apparently you missed that post. But I made it very clear that I support the report and want it implemented. But I also said, it should be implemented now and not when Mr. Taylor is acquitted and President Johnson Sirleaf imminent defeat in 2011, where she might leave the country and not be around for prosecution.

    2. Bnker,
      Used for what?? As a FIGHTING FORCE?? Mr. Taylor is saying NO and thus far, we have get to see PHYSICAL EVIDENCE from the prosecutor except HEARSAY. Yes some young kids were used in the war… SECURITY personels or just hanging around their older relatives and friends.

      Did some of them KILLED?? I will put my neck on the line and say YES…but as a FIGHTING FORCE….no.

      1. Al Solo Nyonteh,

        The real real question is; does Mr. Taylor know that he is actually being tried for Liberia and the role of younger soldiers?

  10. Charles Taylor’s use of child soldiers was part and parcel of how he operated his NPLF and how he encouraged the RUF in Sierra Leone. The man is a liar to assert that “every child (who cam to the NPFL”s custody) I placed in an orphanage. In November, 1995 I was on an assessment mission with an NGO to Nimba County. Among the 30-some checkpoints along the road from Monrovia was one called the “YBU Gate.” YBU, for Young Boys’ Unit. It was operated by children–not as young as 10, as Ms. Hollis alleged yesterday. Rather, one 7-year-old stood with an AK-47 longer than he was tall. The children were trained to look menacing. The children were obviously under some drug’s influence. The worst of it was the human viscera that “decorated” the gate that the children opened for us to pass through. The viscera, one boy told us, came from human beings that the young boys had been trained by the NPFL to disembowel after they had shot them. This I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears. What Charles Taylor did in Liberia, he then allowed (and directed) be done in Sierra Leone.

    1. Ken, just listen to yourself : “Rather, ONE(capital mine) 7-year-old stood with an AK-47 longer than he was tall”. now a question so out of the about 6 to 7 boys at each of the checkpoints along the way, it was only ONE 7 year old boy that you saw. now how did you know that he was 7 years old? did you perform a form of test on him in order to assertain his age or did you ask him how old he is? even if what you have said is true does one 7 year old boy at a checkpoint mean that the NPFL has a policy of recruiting child solders to fight? you mentioned that there were about 30-some checkpoints that you went through and all you can remember seeing is only ONE 7 year old boy as proof of conscripting child solders? comeon man, even the prosectution witness Moses Blah testified that the use of child solders was not a policy of the NPFL.

  11. Happy Birthday President Taylor.
    Remember the battle is not to the swift nor to the strong but to those who endure to the end. Keep trusting in God and He will surely see you true.

  12. I wanted to address this issue of child soldiers because it is a pure myth that the NPFL had a fighting force called SBU. Yes, the term SBU was well known in the NPFL areas but it was no structure unit of the NPFL call SBU. Did small boys held arms in Liberia? Yes. Was they a part of the regular NPFL fighting forces? NO!

    Look , lets us be frank here about this issue. The AFL brutally destoryed whole towns and villages in Nimba county, raping mothers and daughters in the present of fathers and sons. And thereafter killed the whole family, towns and villages were burned down . Those who were lucky to survive did not need permission from Charles Taylor to take revenge on those they perceive as perpretrators against their families. In some instances , a little child would be the only survival from the brutality of the AFL. Taylor created an orphanage for most of these kids , fed and clothed them. In other instances, some of these kids survived with their older brothers and other relatives and they took up arms on their own.

    Majority of the people who fought on the side of the NPFL were not members of the NPFL regular forces, this is why Charles Taylor war was called a popular people uprising. It was ordinary people who fought that war on their own behalf due to the brutality of the Doe’s AFL. Guys could not just leave their little brothers anywhere as everybody was on the move.

    Yes, it is true that some of these kids sat at check points and it was a means for them to look for food by hanging out with the fighters. They ran errands and did odd work, Taylor had no control over this behavior because most often such behavior was occuring on the war front and Taylor would not have seen it. He might have heard aout it but he could not do anything at that stage of the war when people were acting on their own. It took some time to clam this behavor down. I am alluding to this because I sough refuge on the Fendall Campus and walked for days going to Bassa stopping along the way and staying in some villages.

    I saw how these fighters talked and acted, on FendallCampus where I stay for some time , i witnessed first hand small boys actions, they did not act alone, they were controlled by the big ones. The big boys would instruct the small boys to harrass people because these kids did not care. But when the big boys heard that their bosses (senior commanders) were coming, then they would pretend that everything was ok. I remember a particular night on Fendall when some fighters entered our building to harrassed some women. Luckily, Gen Isaac Musa was touring the area and also enter into our building due to the noise coming from the hall. Upon seeing what was happening, Gen. Musa ordered the immediate arrest of those fighters and they were brutally handled, which surprise us. Then Gen. Musa ordered that all men should sleep on the hard floor and leave the tables or other socalled better places for the women to sleep on.

    On Fendall, if you had a table to sleep on then you atleast had a better place to sleep on. I am saying all this to say that war is a terrible thing, and if we do not want to see those terrible things then we should not support any war. Because Taylor did not need to tell a man whose mother and sister was raped and killed in his presence to take any revenge if he had the opporunity. The war was insane and I believe Taylor was a very strong leader, to have control all those emotions that was running through the brains of Liberians, during those early days. it was hell on earth, and just upon reflecting now makes me angry with this trial because it does not speak to my sufferings. We really suffered in that war and if it was not for God first, and Taylor second, most of us would not be alive today. Thank God that Taylor was man enough to stand up for Liberians. Happy Brithday, Mr. Taylor!!!

    1. King,
      I enjoyed your tread. I totally agree with some of the things outlined in your posting; others, I think differently. I agree that Doe and his loyal bandits made hundreds of children orphans. These children were vulnerable and needed security. The psychology for need is similar to that of gang, people join for protection. In Liberia, some of the kids were conscripted, others needed security (food and shelter). This is a fact and we all agree to it. This is where we have a divergence, the kids did not have to be used for war. It saddens me that some these kids lost their parents, but now they were converted into killing machines, who lacked the ability to decipher right from wrong. Their consciences were murdered ones turned into little “Frankensteins”. They were used by their failed leadership. Ok, lets work under the assumption that there was no official unit called the SBU, do you also dispel the fact that Taylor himself surrounded himself with these young men for his own protection at times? Do you still deny though it was not an official policy of the NPFL, kids were used and armed on their bases? I have seen “small soldiers” lead morning drills. For those who were fortunate to be in Buchanan during the war and visited the “fairgrounds” where Taylor used quite often, teenage boys were used for protection. Taylor knew about this, a perfect example, Chucky (his son) was actively involved with arms even before he was 18 years old. He became active at about 15 years old while in CWA. It’s true that Kids were generally under the supervision of older people who manipulated them just as they were abused by their leadership. There were no calls to end or discourage the use of children, you know that and those who talked were placed on the “death list”, example Kimmie Weeks. Imagine being a 15 year old boy being hunted by the country’s leadership because you speak against the use of child soldiers. I know another person who Charles Taylor put a bounty on his head (he lives in Houston). I think one of the fundamentally failures of Taylor and other leaders, was the lack of vision. These kids they ruined are now adults with no formal education, no sense for the respect of law or human life. They didn’t have to be used to become lethal weapons. Doe and his army had sufficiently propelled the growth of the NPFL movement. These children should have been placed in orphanages. No, but instead, they were used for selfish, greedy, diabolic purposes.

      About 4 years ago, on one of my visits to Liberia, I met a young man who worked at a gas station in Congo Town (opposite Musu spot). I pulled up to get gas, noticing I was from the USA, he says, “man, I am a “N” (didn’t want to spell out the word since its derogatory). I asked him if he knew what the word meant, then I explained to him. For some reason, he had a humble spirit. After my first encounter, I daily purchased gas from that station. I would go there at about 8-9pm and sit with these guys. Over time, they became comfortable with me and they opened up. One of them said he started fighting when he was about 9 years old for the NPFL and has never been to school. Fast forward, a year later he was no longer at that station, I was talking to a friend on Broad Street. He (the one who defined himself with the “N” word) walks up to me, and says, “big brother”, I want to say thank you for talking to me, I am in a training program. I remembered, I told he and his buddy, you all should never allow anyone to use you for their own purpose.

      I see you mentioned some good deeds by Isaac Musa. Man, frankly I am not moved by one/few good gestures by Musa. Remember he controlled the most notorious check point that exhibited human intestine and skulls (God Blessed you Gate). It was believed that if you make it through that checkpoint without being killed or harassed, then “God Blessed You”. So does few good deed erase all other atrocities he personally committed, no! He passed peacefully, sorta. He life was not ended abruptly as he did many.

      You concluded with a wise comment, “I am saying all this to say that war is a terrible thing, and if we do not want to see those terrible things then we should not support any war.” So what do you recommend that we do to ensure that war is not supported again? What have we implemented that will discourage someone from attempting something? We cannot simply say, don’t do it we will not support you”. So what do you recommend.

      Again, good tread.

  13. Happy Birth day Sir,

    May God continue to bless and protect you from your accusers and their white masters. Fight on Papay, the fight is not over until it is over. I salute you sir.

    Best wishes

    Harris K Johnson

  14. Wow!!! king Gray, what an extensive dissection of the NPFL operation. But here is where you miss the arguement. Nobody is saying Taylor used child soldiers alone but he is on trial, so he has to answer for this part. The other will answer when we setup the tribunal for Liberia.

    Yes, king Gray, child soldiers were an integral part of the NPFL, we are all Liberians who lived and saw the war. Yes, the AFL under Doe was a brutal repressive organisation and the kill lots of people. I happened to have been around Camp Ramroad(72nd barrack) after quiwonkpa coup and terrible did happened, the liberian people never forgive Samuel Doe for those atrocities but that does not excuse Taylor’s excesses, espcially when trust was put in him to correct the situation by people, hence the support. You know, I have spoken to people who boasted of NPFL military prowese but they fail to realise without the help of the civilian population npfl would have never got to anywhere near monrovia.

    You speak of Gen. Musa as saint of some kind, I can say he was not. In fact Musa was responsible for kill many people on the same Fendell, unless your position is that those people deserve to die, which I will profoundly disagree with you as they were not fighters and commited no crimes but belonging to tribe which musa did not like. Taylor was the head of the NPFL and unless he can show he took the necessary steps to protect the people during that period, he will be held for those crimes.

    Fortunately, this trial is not about liberia, so we can hold until Liberia has her own court. Stop making these unnecessary excuses. You cannot justify killings of innocent civilians because AFL killed people in Nimba.

    1. Eagle-eye(Returns), Fallah and others
      First let me say that I have NOT said that Isaac Musa was A siant. I do not know the personal deeds of Isaac Musa so I cannot vouch for his deeds. I only cited an incident that I witnessed first hand, this is not a they say, he say, she say, or say say, like the prosecution witnesses. I was there with my own two eyes and saw it.

      Again, I am not justifying the used of child soldiers but the fact here is Taylor could not have known everything that was happening on the war front on all over the country. I remember Isaac Musa was the battle group commander at that time because most of the NPFL cars that was moving towards the frontline had his name on them as Battle Group Commanders, and Chairman of Joints Chiefs of Staff. I remember these things very well like it was yesterday because I live on Fendall for some time and saw it although I was very young.

      Look, child soldiers was not a policyof the NPFL because I know for a fact people who joined the NPFL right on Fendall and they never ever went for training anywhere. Most often people were looking for food, and group of guys will jump behind an armed man to go and loot for food. The one person with the gun was the commander and whosoever was with him was his own unit and troops. This behavior was commonplace in the early stages of the war. So I do not need anybody from anywhere to tell me something that I frist hand witnessed and also suffered.

      It is those who were in Monrovia that have all of this crazy ideas about how wicked and evil Charles Taylor was. As a matter of fact, if Taylor was so wicked, he would not have provided free food for civillians on those displaced camps before the arrival of medicin san frontiers. I think MSF is from Belgium or elsewhere in Europe but these people were brave enough to come to Liberia at that terrible time and they really save lifes. Once a person was safely in NPFL held areas, you was free to live like any other person, that was my experience (although I am not discounting the occassion harrasment which mostly came from people who wanted revenge for past transactions). The problem was getting into the NPFL, to pass all those checkpoints. That was the problem, because leaving Monrovia to go behind the line was like hell. But if the NPFL areas was so wicked as some of you are claiming, then people would not have left from behind the lines to get other family members from Monrovia, to move back into Taylor areas.

      I don’t know whether some of you followed the TRC hearings in Liberia which report is now in dispute. But there were terrible confessions of evils and wickedness committed against Liberians by ULIMOS , LPC , LURD ect . To me, no sane Liberian should support this political trial because it is an abuse and insult to our sufferings. That the west will sponsored those other killers to destroyed our lives and nation but pretend here that they believe in justice? Moses Blah, a senior prosecution witnessed , himself, refuted the fasle charge that the NPFL had a regular child soldier unit. People should take responsibility for their own actions and stop blaming a single individual because it is impossible for Taylor to have done all of these terrible things that they are charging him for. Where is the evidence? None but TOTAL NONSENSE!!!

  15. Happy belated birthday to you Mr. Taylor. I am sorry it came so late but it is better late than never..
    I know the longest rope in the bush has an end, be strong and keep the foucs our God will seee you through one fine day. Again Happy Belated Birhtday and God Bless you Greatly.

  16. To suggest that I am new to this site, so I do not understand this case is a sad joke for you guys. I get transcripts from this case on each day that there is a hearing. I have an email folder with 142 of them. However, I have never dreamt of contributing to the comments section, until I read the lies being told by President Taylor. Especially, the denial of using child soldiers.
    I do not need to listen to anybody testimony to know what happen. I lived the terror. I suffered from the wickedness displayed by those small boys that were drugged and used to commit some of the henious crimes that mankind have ever seen.
    For anybody to say that children were not in the regular NPFL fighting force and later the government militia of President Taylor, that person is sick. I am not writing under a pseudoym or a fictitious screen name, because I want people reading this to know that there are more witnesses out here. We do not have to testify before anybody, because we are firm believer in forgiveness.
    I was uprooted from my Congo Town home on 8th August 1990, by the NPFL. I was seventeen years old then, but many of the the “men” maltreating us on that day were quite younger than me. I remembered them sporting various school uniforms and wearing wigs. They were child soldiers toting baretta machine guns.
    We were moved to the Du-Port road and subjected to all forms of terror, especially at the hands of those young commandoes that were so irrational. ECOMOG’s advance on DU-Port road drove us deeper into rebel land and eventually out of the country. My brother, then a student at the A.M. Digliotti school of Medicine, worked as a medical personnel in the NPFL headquarter of Gbarnga. I had to transit there on my way to exile. You NPFL people should remind me. For that time I live they, I realized the Small Boys Unit was visible. It was in November 1990.
    It is ironic, but I will mentioned it here. Once, there was a low in fighting, so some of us returned to Congo Town. We were there unaware of retreating NPFL fighters from ECOMOG’s advance. It was a young soldier who saw us and told the story. We were with this famous mid-wife, Ma Bea, and he got endear to her and decided to take us back to our other relatives on the Du Port road. On our way back, we first met a check point at the old Chinese embassy compound and the kid took us through threatening to shoot anybody tht harrass his family, referring to us. We later encountered Isaac Musa at the ELWA junction and amazingly, he exhibited similar action to make us pass. He single-handedly took us back to the Du-port road. Indeed he was a respected child in the NPFL regular army.
    I was a refugee for few years and returned home in the mid-nineties to my home in Congo Town. Charles Taylor had also moved there. Initially, he lived few blocks from the Nigerian and German embassies and when he became president, he moved about a mile from my home. His presence in our neighborhood eventually made his soldiers our neighbors. The child soldiers had to come close to the “Papay”, so they settled in a shanty community called Gio Town. They were pests that we were compelled to live with. We played soccer with them though.
    In the late nineties, the LURD rebel group launched their own rebellion against the government. Child soldiers were again used by the government. Many kids that were born in our neighborhood got influenced by the large presence of government militiamen and got recruited. Some of the boys moved up the militia’s command so fast that they were seen in the president’s convoy. Anybody reading this and was in Monrovia will know the pick-up truck with an anti aircraft gun mounted on it. The truck in the president’s convoy had lot of children on it. I rememebred them, because they came back to us to narrate war stories. They were our friends, because we were hungry for news from the frontline. Their proximity to the presidency gave them stories that no media house could have.
    I have labored with my bad grammar to explained as much as I can, in order to make it clear that testimonies are not my source of information. I live with child soldiers that executed Charles Taylor’s war. Those Liberians in this forum that are denying the child soldiers issue are pathetic liars like their master. We know your mission, but I am not should of the judges reading theses comments.
    You are an organized syndicate on here that is trying to paint a beautiful picture out of ugliness. Charles Taylor used child soldiers in his military campaign. It is a fact. We saw them. we lived with them. small Boys unit (SBU) was a fighting unit in the NPFL. Nobody should twist the facts. By denying this, you NPFL gurus are only doing disservice to the many children that fought your war and got killed or amputated. How will those boys, who ruined their future by fighting Charles Taylor’s wars, feel when they hear him say ‘ I know you not’. Melvin Sogbini and Roland Duo , the first line commanders of some of these boys, must be feeling rejected.
    Anyway, it is a good lesson for our kids. These people will used you in accomplishing their selfish motives and abandon you when the time of reckoning comes.
    I will close by stating here that my interest in Charles Taylor’s case at the Sierra Leone’s court is solely academic. I have nothing beyond reading these transcript. I commented initially because he lied about something I am aware of. He also lied of Buckarie. An individual that was also very visible in Congo Town and fear by us. He came from the Paynesville area and was a regular visitor on our block.
    I challenge anybody to discredit what is written here. Like me, your identity should be known.

    1. Dear Patrick,

      Thank you, first of all, for joining us here and deciding to participate actively in the discussion. I too believe strongly that everybody is welcome in this forum, should feel free to discuss whatever they wish in relation to the trial, and should be entitled to be treated with respect by all others who participate on this site regardless of how regularly any reader posts comments, or whether they are new to the trial or have been folloowing since the start.

      Patrick, thank you for sharing your experience here with us. Your description of your experience with child soldiers during the war is a sobering reminder of the complex web of roles and relationships that child soldiers — and the people who are at their mercy — are required to play with and between each other in times of conflict (and indeed, for many years afterwards).

      Indeed, the role of child soldiers in conflict has been a point of diverse views for many readers in the past week or so. It is also an issue which is increasingly gaining attention in the legal sphere too, not only with this trial, but in other international criminal courts. The International Criminal Court’s first case – ongoing at the moment — is focussed exclusively on conscription, enlistment and use of child soldiers to participate actively in hostilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In that case — against Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, an alleged former militia leader in the DRC — there is significant debate about who should be counted as a child soldier. The judges recently heard from an expert witness, Radhika Coomaraswamy, who is the UN Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on Children in Armed Conflict. She argued that the crime of “using” child soldiers should be expanded to include children who are not in active combat roles but who perform “essential support functions” for the troops, such as cooks, porters, translators, domestic helpers — and those children, particularly girl children, who were used as sexual slaves for commanders or other troops. If you, or other readers are interested in her arguments of who should count as a child soldier — and hence, the expanded responsibility that should be accorded to those who are charged with using child soldiers — you can read a short summary of her arguments that I did here (which also includes a link to her original arguments), here is a link:

      Best, and I look forward to hearing more from you, Patrick,

  17. has anyone here read a long way gone?? maybe you should all read it and see what these poor child soldiers experience. its horrific what they were put through.

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