Charles Taylor Provided Support To The RUF But Only In 1991, Witness Says

Today, a Sierra Leonean witness commenced his testimony in defense of Charles Taylor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.  The witness told the  judges that the former Liberian president provided support to Sierra Leonean rebel forces but that such support ceased in 1991 when Mr. Taylor withdrew his Liberian fighters from Sierra Leone.

Charles Ngebeh, a Sierra Leonean who was a member of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebel group, a group that Mr. Taylor is accused of supporting, today testified that at the initial stages of the war in Sierra Leone, Mr. Taylor did provide support to RUF rebels through the supply of manpower and materials, such as food, medicine, arms, and ammunition. The witness said that such support, however, ceased when RUF rebels and Mr. Taylor’s Liberian fighters in Sierra Leone clashed in what has been called “Top 20, Top 40 and Top Final.”

Prosecution witnesses testified during the presentation of the prosecution case that in 1991, members of Mr. Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), who were fighting alongside rebel forces in Sierra Leone, had a conflict with their RUF counterparts that led to the Liberian fighters leaving Sierra Leone and returning to Liberia. In Mr. Taylor’s testimony as a witness in his own defense, the former president addressed the same issue, telling the judges that he did have Liberian fighters helping RUF rebels along the Liberia-Sierra Leone border but that such fighters were withdrawn when they had clashes with the RUF. Mr. Taylor also said that within this period, he did help the RUF with arms and ammunition because they were fighting a common enemy in the United Liberian Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO), who were attacking the NPFL with support from the Government of Sierra Leone.

In his testimony today, the defense witness, Mr. Ngebeh, told the judges that when he was captured and taken to the training base in 1991, he was trained by RUF and Liberian NPFL fighters.

In response to a question by Mr. Taylor’s defense counsel, Terry Munyard, about who conducted his training when he was taken to the training base after his capture by RUF rebels in 1991, the witness said that “it was a combined forces of RUF and NPFL.”

The witness affirmed that at the initial stages of the conflict, Mr. Taylor did provide some support to the RUF but added that such support ceased when the RUF had clashes with the NPFL fighters in Sierra Leone.

“At the initial stage of the war in 1991, RUF used to have assistance from Mr. Taylor. After that infighting, Mr. Taylor withdrew all his men and the weapons they had,” the witness said.

Asked to tell the court what kind of support the RUF used to receive from Mr. Taylor, the witness explained that “we used to get food from Liberia, they used to send us medicines and some few ammunitions.”

The witness explained that the two sources of ammunition for the RUF at that time were supplied from Mr. Taylor and those obtained after attacking enemy forces.

“There are only two sources that we used to get ammunition from: Mr. Taylor and attacking our enemies,” he said.

He explained that after Mr. Taylor withdrew his support from the RUF in 1991, RUF leader Foday Sankoh returned from Liberia and said “he’ll never step his foot on Gbarngha [NPFL headquarters at that time] because Taylor had sent an order to arrest him.”

“Minus Taylor, plus Taylor, I will fight my war,” the witness quoted Mr. Sankoh as having said at that time.

Mr. Ngebeh’s testimony continues tomorrow.


  1. Here you have a second Sierra Leonean corroborating the testimony of Mr. Taylor. I am pleasantly surprised that Sierra Leoneans are willing to testify on the truth of the war.

  2. Well, well, well things are falling into place…here is an unambiguous admission of the “supply line” issue I raised earlier (March 16 2010 “Sierra Leonean Rebels Captured Arms and Ammunition From Enemy Forces And Purchased Some From Guinean Soldiers, Witness Says” March 17, 2010 at 3:06 pm)…and here I am not scrupulous about time frame as I am interested in the unenthusiastic recognition of the reality of Liberia being a proactive backup repository to fuel regional tension and destabilization.


    1. Davenport.Noko7,
      can you tell us what you mean with your BIG BIG grammer? what exactly is your point? the fact remains that the witness is actually the 3rd defence witness corroborating Mr Taylor’s testimony about his dealings with the RUF in 199-1992. the witness has also testified about the sources of weapons for the RUF My Taylor being one of those sources. And when you combine this witness testimony with that of Mr Taylor you will find out that the sole purpose of Mr Taylor’s support for the RUF at that stage was to defend his border from attacks by ULIMO. So i do not understand what you mean by “the reality of Liberia being a proactive backup repository to fuel regional tension and destabilization.”

      1. Sam,

        Let us not get into an unwholesome belligerent mode to critique the grammatical construct of other readers since they are not critiquing ours. Okay.

        Your comments – “So I do not understand what you mean by…” – is not perceive with disdain but sometimes, yes, just sometimes, it is better not to understand uncomplicated issue of this nature. This is self-evident…and I will offer no further comment on this. Many thanks.


        1. Davenport.noko7 ,
          Suit your self. you are perfectly entitled to your opinion but I thought the purpose of being on this site is to engage in constructive debate and dialogue on the trial. Now I raised an issue which you have avoided responding to rather you are responding to my use of words. However like other Anti Taylor people on this site, I do not expect you to address the main issue in the trial as it affects the indictment but like the prosecution, you pick on irrelevant matters as far as the trial is concerned and make issues out of them.

          The fact remains that the witness is actually the 3rd defence witness corroborating Mr Taylor’s testimony about his dealings with the RUF in 199-1992. The witness has also testified about the sources of weapons for the RUF My Taylor being one of those sources. And when you combine this witness testimony with that of Mr Taylor you will find out that the sole purpose of Mr Taylor’s support for the RUF at that stage was to defend his border from attacks by ULIMO. My question to you is: How can does this motive of Mr Taylor in supporting the RUF be construed as “the reality of Liberia being a proactive backup repository to fuel regional tension and destabilization.”?

          Well as you have indicated that you do not want to say anything about it anymore, I respect that but I think other readers on this site who loves to engage in constructive debate will have something to say.

        2. Sam,

          Friend, honestly, this is a weak attempt to either evade the issue I raised or justify disturbing behavior towards other commentators. Okay, what is your rationale or logic for beginning your rejoinder with the below sentence, if your original objective was to rouse a healthy exchange of ideas?

          • “Davenport.Noko7, can you tell us what you mean with your BIG BIG grammer?” (cf Daily Summary March 22 2010 Charles Taylor Provided Support To The RUF But Only In 1991, Witness Says, March 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm).

          See, friend, while I have absolutely no right to dictate to you how to begin the above sentence, I have the right to question why you had to use it. Don’t I? Friend, we are different and it is obvious. I have absolutely no passion for critiquing the level of your grammatical construct whether it is low, medium, or advance grammar. I do not get into that sort of dialectic tension. I respect the works, ideas, and comments of everyone here, including you, my friend, and the grammar (I here mean grammar free of impudence and affront – something that has the potency to derail ongoing conversation) they use to communicate with the rest of us. I seek to dialogue with issues arising from the trial or issues raised by our esteemed and distinguished commentators like you on this site.

          Friend, my grammar was not “BIG, BIG” as you described but simple and succinct but I think we have a fundamental perceptual difference regarding this trial and I respect your views and understand your emotions. All I ask of you is: respect, not agree, with my views as well. But if you can’t that is okay, I will continue to respect yours anyway and dialogue with you on issue when the need arise…and let us celebrate our difference.

          I thank you, my friend and sorry, for now I can not speak to the rest of the issues you later raised in your March 23, 2010 rejoinder.


          Alpha, post this, please…

    2. Noko7,

      Well, well, and well.

      Now we know because you are on notice Noko7 for saying that “you are not scrupulous about the time frame”. Folks, these guys are not even bothering to put on their masks anymore. They are doing it in open daylight. But we have a job to do. And our job description is to rip the veil of the false immaculation that they have always put on and pretended to be law abiding citizens. Basically what Noko7 is saying is that, screw the timeline or time frame, David Crane and the prosecution limited this case to. By the way, the time frame is an unmitigated disaster for the side Noko7 is on. But whose to be blamed? Taylor again? UNBELIEVABLE.

      Noko7, I have a question for you, and others can jump on it also, if they like. Why didn’t you say what you are saying now when the accused himself said that he had dealing with the RUF from 1991-1992? Folks, I know the answer. Apparently Noko7 and some of the prosecutions’ supporters like Eagle-eye, (do remember him?) thought, with all the big mouth the prosecution was making about overwhelming evidence against the accused was actually available. Only to know that the whole entire case is a scam. Only to know that the case is about Liberia in disguise. Only to know that Mia Farrow and super model Naomi Campbell story were the evidence available. And certainly, only to know that there is no evidence against this innocent man. As the result, it took no time for them to return back to their roots of ignoring and disrespecting their own laws and rules that they have made. Folks, this thing is getting pretty bad. This case is becoming horribly terrifying. Ladies and gentlemen, I remember just couple of days ago, I said some of the prosecution supporters are asking the question internally why indict Taylor from November of 1996-2002 and not 1991-2002. Folks, I knew it wouldn’t have taken too long for some of them to reveal what they were think and asking secretly, quietly, and internally. Please folks, don’t be surprised to see more of the same of Noko7 comment being reinforced by the likes of him. GOOD LORD ALMIGHTY, WHICH WAY SHOULD WE TURN?

  3. Mr. Koumjian,

    Why you did not charge president Taylor from 1991- 2002?

    Why from November of 1996-2002?

    Folks, I know the answer. They were so bent on de-legitimizing his presidency. They just could not breath a birth of fresh air that a new dawn of democracy has emerged in Liberia. Folks, these people are now becoming victims of their own trap. I know some of their supporters are wondering why prosecutors. Why David Crane? Why SCSL? WHY, WHY, AND WHY??? Too late boss. SHOW US YOUR EVIDENCE OF 1996-2003.

    1. And they got JUKED by the rusty nail as we say in Liberia. If these judges come down with any other verdict apart from FREE TO GO…..I wonder how they was live with such guilt.

      Back in July ’07, I said it…this was not a case just knowing a little or two about STREET SMART. The US and Britain bargained believiing Mr. Taylor was a DUMB FOOL but he has OUT SMARTED in every which way.

      Thank HEAVEN a Black man is showing the world….oh yes the WHITE WORLD that those days are GONE!!!!

  4. I think this witness is leading us somewhere. We all have to wait and see what happen during the cross. These are the kind of people we call witness or witnesses. Someone who say I was there and explaining the story as it happened. Not someone who is saying Paul told John and told me. Why not just come up with Paul and cut this case. Beside we were told this case is about Sierra Leone, how did it change to become 100 percent a Liberian trial. How? We are still waiting for this one true justice.

    1. Leroy,
      Because they don’t have the FACTS to back you up the charges….a DAMN SHAME and a DISGRACEFUL DISGRACE!!!. One of the missing piece was letting Pres. Kabbah off the hook…..HOW???

      Bring Mr. Taylor and try him and atleast a CHANCE to have him convicted but that too won’t happen.

  5. Well, let’s hear from the horses mouths and see what the judges’ conclusion will be. In my mind all of the witnesses paraded so far have corroborated Mr. Taylor testimony. I don’t know what other think; my reading is that the defense is doing a great job.

    Harris K Johnson

    1. Harris,
      just to add to your point. the defence witness so far have all done very well under cross examination. A curious thing i noted was that the prosecution has made no attempt to contradict the testimony of the witnesses which is totaly different from the testimony of the prosecution witnesses. instead, they try to ask the witnesses to confirm or deny suggestions the prosecution puts to them. I think the prosecution should have refered to testimony of their own witnesses about an issue the defence witness is testifying on which was contrary to what the defence witnesses were saying and try to show that the testimony of their own witnesses was more likely to be correct this would have made for a more effecient cross examination and accertainment of the truth.

      1. Sam,

        You are absolutely right about that. That is why Griffiths mentioned that even taylor’s testimony was not challenged during cross examination.

    2. GOOD is less of the standard….GREAT job!!!!. Put the witnesses that are needed and not anyone like the prosecutors did.

      Seriously, I cannot see how these judges come out with a GUILT verdict!!!

  6. Jose thanks for welcoming back. What you stated in your above post, is really what I have been thinking on for the past time. Why did the prosecutors limit her case to this level by saying from 1997 to 2002 or 2003. I think they are very dissappointed in the time set by themselves. Davenport you have not really understand what this trail is about. Remember this is about Sierra Leone and not Liberia. Secondly the supply of arms and aminations to the RUF is not a new thing or our first time hearing it Taylor himself explailned all that this witness is saying. So don’t be surprise about arms from Liberia in 1991. So please come down, you need to be asking yourself why the prosecutors did not inculd from 1991. It is also interesting to see Sierra Leonean to testify on behalf of Taylor. Did you guys really seeing what we call witness and not the John told Paul and Paul told Davenport and Davenport to Fallah. Besides Aaron who was on the same has died. you guys need to learn form this. These witness are doing well and good will always over shadow the bad.

    1. Leoroy Dennis,

      Thanks for your kind words. I am very thrilled to read more post from you. I was kind of concern because you stop posting for some time. But anyway, glad to have back with us.

      Excellent points raised by you. I agree with you.

  7. My dear Jose and leoroy,
    The prosecutors failed to include to those wasted years because that God beating them so, like we say in Liberia when God is on your side against your enemies in a given situation like what Mr. Taylor is faced with.


    Harris K Johnson

  8. Now the picture is coming together. If RUF and NPFL fell apart because of a dispute in 1991, who’s to say they didn’t amend their relationship.
    You have Taylor saying that Sam Bockarie aka mosquito a RUF rebel general being refered to as “son”….by Taylor, and then you have Taylor going against legal protocol and giving several hardcore RUF rebels Liberian citizenship, while Mr. Taylor is present; several years after 1991.
    I don’t buy this story that he only supplied RUF with ‘assistance’…only in 1991 I think his defense convieniently use that time period because of the time frame for which Taylor was indicted…if Taylor was indicted from 91-2003, this testimony will not have been heard.
    I think by Taylors own admission and actions its very obvious that Taylor had a close relationship with RUF during his presidency. With that said if Taylor could provide support for RUF in 1991, and provide refugee for RUF rebels in more then 10 years after that suggest to me that RUF and Taylor’s relation was more closer than the witness is or the defense is letting on.
    Why do I have a strange feeling that these witnesses are building a case against Taylor rather then helping? Interesting. One witness testimony contradicts Taylor another claims that his testimony was changed, and then this witness, helping build a connection between events from the past to Taylor present indictment…I say defense keep, the witnessed coming!!

    1. Ms Teage,

      Are you sure we are watching the same trial? It appears here that like the Prosecution you are filled with maybes and supposition. Why speculate? The facts speak for themselves. Too bad you fail to see it even when it is starring you glaringly in the face.

      1. Ms. Helen,
        You fail to realize that we both have two different opinions about this trail you and every other Taylorist want to force people to see this trail the way you see it. I am 100% sure I’m watching the same trail, and I am giving my true honest opinions about what i see and how I interperut the evidence. I may differ from yours and may seem absurd, but let me remind you….We are on two DIFFERENT side of the fence when it comes to this trail……GET OVER the fact that i have a different opinion then you…..there is actually a very good case against Taylor….get over it.

        1. Ms. Teage,
          We did from your very first comments…but having a different view so not be the reason you blind yourself to the evidences been presented. You must admit the defense is killing the prosecutors on the score board.

        2. Ms Teage,
          Count how many of you on this site that say Mr. Taylor is guilty and compare your number to those of us that say he is not guilty. Remember that two heads are by far better than one. I’m sure you would have known by now that he is not guilty if you were following logic in this case with clear mind. I’m really sorry that you allow hit to over take your power of positive thinking. All of you have worked very hard to declare President Taylor guilty in the court of public options, but it is now time that you prove your case in this court of justice. Until that is done. I advise that you carefully listen to Big Sister Helen to avoid all these back kicks from the many reader here.

          Harris K Johnson

    2. Teage,

      prove your case. if you think what you are saying is right, provide evidence. Please ma’am let the prosecution prove beyond all reasonable doubts. How hard is that? All you assumption, story telling, and opinion don’t matter with in the criminal court of law. What matters are the facts and evidences.

      1. Jose Rodriguez,
        We’ve gone over this time and time again, we are two different people, responding to the same case, I do not need to provide you with anything other than my opinion, I love the witnesses testimony, they are all over the place and inconsistent, and i think it’s great, and they should keep talking. Maybe you all don’t understand t here are two groups of people on this blog, people who think taylor is “GUILTY”, and others “NOT GUILTY”, i express my opinions just as you do and i do not have to provide evidence for you or anyone else. Get over yourselves, this is not your blog, and I have nothing to prove to you. You and the Nokos were not able to change my opinion and my views about Taylor or this trail, so I suggest you read my post disagree with it and respect my opinions. I don’t agree with your perspective on this trail but you have a right to share and you run around this blog trying to change peoples mind and demanding “evidence” of readers, COME ON….get over yourself.

        1. Teage,

          Yes, it is true that you have rights to your own opinion. But what you don’t have rights to, is your own facts. However, the defense witnesses are corroborating what the accused has already said. Their statements are in line and consistent with President Taylor. Besides Teage, if you actually believe in democracy as you professed, you will accept all that comes with it regardless of the outcome whether it is not in your favor or not. It is also true that within a democratic system, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty within the court of laws. I understand emotions rise especially amongst Liberians when it comes to Taylor. But accept the facts, that the man is innocent until proven guilty.

          Secondly Teage, you talked about witness testimony and how you love it. You continue by saying it is inconsistent, but yet fell way too short to point out the inconsistency. Ma’am, can I ask you few questions? Are you aware, that it was the prosecution that indicted this accused? Are you aware that there were 17 original counts against the accused brought by the prosecutors? Do you know the 17 charges were reduced to 11 by the prosecution? Are you also aware that the prosecution charged him from November 1996 to 2002? Do you know that the indictment was unsealed in 2003 by the prosecution? Ma’am, whose fault it is, if the witness said Taylor had dealing with the RUF in 1991 and not 1996-2002?

          Teage, all these events and works that occurred were exclusively done by the prosecution with no input from the accused or defense team. The prosecution had the chance and opportunity to have indicted him from 1991- what ever. They did not. So Ma’am, what is the beef? Show us the prove.

    3. Ms. Teage,
      Let me remind you of the indictment.
      1) Mr Taylor and the RUF leader Foday Sankoh entered into a pact in Libya to support each other in their wars. Foday Sankoh supported Taylor to invade Liberia and Taylor supported Sankoh to invade SL.

      Now Ms Teage, after all the evidence you have heard from the Prosecution and the Defence on this specific charge, can you in good faith believe the prosecution claim above? Testimony have revealed that Sankoh was not the leader of the SL group in Libya and that groups do not inter-mingle also, Leaders are not resident on the camps like their men training in the camp. so how could Mr Taylor have concluded a plan with sankoh who was not the leader of his group? it is note worthy to note that the prosecuition during cross examination did not dispute the fact that sankoh was not the leader of the SL group neither did they dispute the fact that only leaders have the opportunity to interact among themselves. Now how could the leader of the NPFL conclude a pact with an ordinary trainee like Sankoh when Ali Kabbah the leader of the SL group was there?

      these questions are pertinent because they form the basis for understanding the prosecution theory of JCE between Taylor and Sankoh. if it was established that thyey never had a pact and it was not likely that it could have happened then other accusations emanating from that would not be able to stand.

      So Ms Teage what have you got to say about this? other readers may also contribute.

        1. Ms Teage,
          Ha ha ha….I guess you just want him JAIL or KILL regardless of what the evidences show…..And that’s JUSTICE in your book.

          What is your take on Pres. Kabbah not been trial??

      1. Sam,
        I’m pretty sure you read my opinion about the case. You “breaking” things down doesn’t make anything clearer for me. I’ve gone over the evidence as you have and I’ve arrived at a different conclusion then you and others, that is why you believe he’s innocent, and I believe he’s guilty. This is my honest opinion after examining the evidence.
        You know nothing about what I “want to see” for Mr. Taylor……FYI Justice in my book is that Taylor pays for what he does…….
        By the way, it seems as if this case consumes you, whether Taylor goes to jail or not, my life is still going to be good, and I’m still going to enjoy every day. It’s you all who act as if you will die if Taylor goes to jail. I want to see justice for Sierra Leoneans and Liberians, and I don’t make apologies for that or for my opinion.

        1. MsTeage,

          It is a good thing for us who know Charles Taylor is not guilty that you aren’t a judge in this trial.

  9. Uhm, let me see why would Taylor NPFL be training SL rebels in Liberia or SL if he had no interest in RUF. Wait a minute, I thought Taylor said their or his plan wasn’t to destabilize the region, he (Taylor) just wanted to take Doe out and liberate the liberian people. How come in the middle of his “so call” revolution in 1991 while he has a defective commander and unit (Prince Johnson and INPFL) on his hand and Doe being dead he still had time to train RUF rebels? Sounds fishy to me.

    I also wonder how was Taylor compensated for his service, oh and wasn’t F. Sankoh considered a “Tea Boy” so what in the world is Taylor doing training a “Tea Boy” rebels, and I wonder where the “Tea Boy” got the funds to pay for all these supplies. Must sell a lot of tea.

    Oh let me guest, Taylor give it to him on LOAN. Taylor probaly said, Sankoh I will train your troops and give them ammunition and when you take over SL mines you can pay me back. BRILLIENT. But make sure now Sankoh when you get in SL you can’t act like a “Tea Boy” you have to be brutal and mean, you have to act like you mean business, anyone even look at you fuuning you cut off his hands or legs, that will put fear in them.

    Now you know you don’t have enorgh men or ammunition to capture Freetown, so just stall the fight and act like you want peace and the government need to step down. Matter of fact don’t even go close to Freetown, that might draw too much attention and bring Ecomog to town or even the war to an end, you know those ones always sticking their nose out for peace.

    Remember now, I’m telling you this because I told Prince Johnson almost the same thing but he ran off and went to Monrovia to kill Doe, which almost cause me this war. Next thing you know there were interim government in Monrovia and all kinds of international attention talking about election. Don’t he know the people in the city like Monrovia or Freetown are much more educated then the indigenous people.

    See its easier to lie to the indigenous people because they don’t know any better, anything you say or do to them is easily overlook, but when you go into the city you have all these educated people with their rights and humanity laws, soon you act evil and mean the international community wants sanctions, embargo, and all kinds of crap on weapons. Luckily we can use your revolution to distract the international community from Liberia and we can keep fighting. Yeah

        1. Noko
          Or he could just be playing a very senister and devious game called “excercising my free speech and expressing my opinions”….ummmmm I wonder what else crazy that John Thompson or Noko7 or Ms. Teage could be trying to do on this website that clearly is for free speech and opinions….
          Seriously though….???????????

  10. Tracey,
    Just curious; Can a country takes a another country to the ICC for letting its soil to be used by rebles or any form of indurgency against said country? Take for example a Sierraleonean goverment did allow insurection against the people of Liberia before. Could a law suit be file? If so, is there any time factor? If not , why?

    1. Noko5,
      Tracey is away this week. She’ll answer your question when she returns next week.

  11. John Thompson what are you saying here again. I really can’t understand anything you have said here. Explain more and we can share idea on it please. And to Teage if you know or have that proof that the two groups did amend their relationship come up with it. The side that you are on will need it more, that is what I am talking about don’t just say something with no proof. We are here in the court of law.

  12. Leroy

    I’m not saying anything, I’m just writing a script of how things or conversations might have taken place between Taylor and Sankoh.

    Man you guys are always on Black and White, Red or Blue.

    1. Yes John,
      You can’t keep wearing a particular colour if it does’nt suit you.We cannot follow the logic of the oppressors/tormentors so rigidly.Especially when he keeps calling blue-red and red-blue.

      This statement maybe of a particular relevant to you depending on your background John.

    2. John Thompson,

      Did I really hear you saying, what I thought I heard you saying that you are “just writing a script of how things or conversations might have taken place between Taylor and Sankoh.”

      John Thompson, look at the doubt in your own handwriting. However, you said “MIGHT” HAVE TAKEN PLACE. There is sufficient doubt. And John, once there is a doubt, the defense has the advantage. One more thing before I get off the computer, please take your time and read or re-read Teage’s post. you will also realize how doubtful her post is just like you. For example, she said, who to say that Taylor and Sankor did not amend/mend their relationship and ect. Clearly her statement shows doubt. John, Taylor is winning this thing openly.

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