Former SRSG to Sierra Leone Said ECOWAS Leaders Supported Issa Sesay’s leadership of The RUF

Charles Taylor’s lawyers today cited a high ranking United Nations official who said that West African leaders supported the replacement of Sierra Leone’s top rebel leader in the name of securing peace in the war-town nation.  Reading from a 2008 statement, Mr. Taylor’s team sought to further distance Charles Taylor from prosecution claims that he controlled Sierra Leonean rebels during their brutal rampage throughout the country’s 11-year civil war.

According to a statement by the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG) to Sierra Leone, Ambassador Oluyemi Adeneji, read in the Special Court for Sierra Leone today, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) leaders were fully supportive of Issa Sesay – currently on the witness stand for Mr. Taylor – taking over the leadership of Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front (RUF) when peace negotiations were getting tough.

“ECOWAS was unequivocal in support of Sesay and were prepared to work with Sesay alone,” the statement quoted Ambassador Adeneji as saying.

While Ambassador Adeneji noted the support Mr. Sesay received from ECOWAS leaders, he was clear in his statement that he could not remember the circumstances surrounding Mr. Sesay’s appointment as leader of the RUF.

“I cannot remember the details of Sesay’s appointment as leader of the RUF but I do know that ECOWAS accepted Sesay as leader of the RUF,” the Ambassador said.

The Ambassador added in his statement that “it was agreed that [Foday] Sankoh was no longer a reliable point person for peace and that ECOWAS should identify a reliable commander in the RUF.”

“Sankoh remained uncommitted to the peace process…Sankoh made quick promises to the resolution of the crisis but did not keep them,” the Ambassador said, citing the abduction of UN peacekeepers by the RUF in May 2000 as an example.

Prosecutors have insisted — and witnesses have testified — that Mr. Sesay’s appointment as interim leader of the RUF was made by Mr. Taylor because the former Liberian president allegedly had control over the Sierra Leonean rebels. Mr. Taylor has denied these assertions, telling the court that the said appointment was made by a group of ECOWAS leaders including former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, former Togolese president Gnasingbe Eyadema, former Malian president Alpha Oumar Konare and Gambian president Yayah Jammeh. Mr. Sesay in his testimony has corroborated Mr. Taylor’s account. The statement read in court today was one which Ambassador Adeneji provided to Mr. Sesay’s own lawyers when he was on trial in Freetown for his own role in RUF atrocities during the conflict.

Mr. Taylor’s defense lawyer also today read a statement that was made to Mr. Sesay’s lawyers in Freetown by the former Force Commander of UN peacekeepers in Sierra Leone, General Daniel Opande, who said that ECOWAS leaders were looking for a reliable person in the RUF that they would deal with because Mr. Sankoh was not reliable.

“Sankoh was no longer seen as a reliable leader for peace and they [ECOWAS] began to look among the RUF for another leader,” General Opande said.

That search eventually led to the appointment of Mr. Sesay.

Mr. Sesay’s testimony continues tomorrow.


  1. It seems like the Defense Team is using this poor convict to do as much damage-control as they can since they have nothing to loose! There is nothing new Sesay is saying other than reiterating what denials have already been spoken. Let him wrap this testimony so Naomi can take the stage next week. Hopefully this lady will have news of substance and not all these rambling, finger-pointing, and that nothing was done to anybody by taylor, even to some whose mothers and sisters were, as alleged, raped and murdered by taylor! Despicable People! No wonder why West Africa remains below the poverty line and its population found all over the world in Neo-slavery! Because of such mentality where people lie without any conscience! wait until this trial is over so we can forget about this part of the world were individuals seem to have no self dignity neither esteem..lies lies and more lies to cover up lies!

    1. J.f menjor
      what if Naomi take the stand tell the judges that she never received diamonds from anybody in south africa and she then ask the ladies to prove it in anyway possible and then, they can not prove any statments they made to the court,what will be your next comment?
      You just said lies,lies, lies my question to you is, whose lying the defends witness that show documents or the porsecutors that shows nothing but hear say.


    2. Some of these Taylor haters impersonating as Liberians need to put up, or shut up because they do not have a clued as to what is going on in this trial.

      1. Okay, to satisfy a fool is to disagree with him. Big B. you’ve won. You are the only true Liberian on this blog. Fallah menjor is from Jamaica. He has no link to Africa, much more Liberia. Have your heritage Big B…Now please let’s focus on what taylor is accused of being a master mind, as alleged by Special Court Of Sierra Leone, for his part of supplying the rags-tags rebels, RUF, with arms to enslave the masses of Sierra Leone, use of force labour, sexual slavery, rapes and murders committed in the process, and violation of gross Human Rights abuses of the People of that Nation. What happened in Liberia is saved for future investigations. We shall know who is true Liberian sooner or later Big B…I promise we will address that matter when the time comes.For now it is what happened in Sierra Leone!

        1. fallah,

          Big B will not be the first to pick a fight, but will not back down from one. Sometimes Moses Law “an eye for an eye” works.

          Let’s move on!

    3. Hi Uncle Fallah, can we logically analyze Mr. Sesay and his testimony? Let start with Sesay,
      The only surviving senior member of RUF.
      Serving half a century in jail.
      may likely be released upon good conduct in jail
      has no further legal redress( I stand to be corrected)
      He is testifying to what he knows relative to the activities of RUF from his role as fighter, commander and interim leader of RUF.
      And Uncle you are saying that this fellow is telling lies?
      Let me ask this question if you permit uncle, What does Mr. sesay stand to benefit from telling lies? I really want to know uncle.
      Now besides Sesay, do you also say the SRSG and other internationally respctable personilities are telling lies?
      Now let me tell you why I would hail them for telling lies as you continue to say.
      They are telling lies to redeem and defend Africa’s pride and dignity against neo-colonial rule as they have plan to use Justice by their definition as the new system to subdue Africa.
      Relative to Naomi taking the stand, Let me tell you uncle that there will be no big or new information. Are you under estimating the defense team? I think you should give some credit to the defense team by now for the smart and logical approach taken to dismember the prosecution.
      Let me also information you that we rather continue than to bring Naomi that will take us back cause the defense will need time to adquately reply to her testimony which will delay the trial.
      Any way this trial means alot to the world in determining the possible arrest of Bashir of Sudan.
      In conclusion, Let me appreciate you for your post, it really entertianed me with laugh. Uncle please don’t be discourage for you have time to make a come back if you encourage the Liberian Governmnet to endorse the TRC recommendations.

  2. Wonder never ends.
    The interpretation of Alpha Oumar Konare’s purported statements taken in French included a complete paragraph exalting the great virtues of Issa Sesay but is no where found in the ordinary. A transcript of a purported telephone interview with UN Secretary General (SRSG) to Sierra Leone, Ambassador Oluyemi Adeneji, was read instead of the audio record of the said interview.
    When last did peace negotiators and highly reputable diplomats start to decide who heads a warring faction? It would little sense to say, ‘for the sake of peace, leaders of ECOWAS accept Issa Sesay as head of the RUF upon Taylor’s recommendation.’
    No wonder why those trashes were never taken serious in Issa Sesay’s trial.
    It is high time these judges tell Taylor and his lawyers to stop wasting precious time and resources on nonsensical issues.

    1. Sorry? I didn’t hear that, I mean what you said. Am not sure if you have been following this trail. Is it the defence team that is wasting time of this trail or???? Sorry man but you are waaaaay behand. I don’t no why people just sit on this blog and write rubish, nothing but rubish. If you don’t know what is called wast of time, then let me say…for example calling on Ms Naomi Cambel to come and give testimony even though that aspect of time in the court has since gone. Thats what people mean by wast of time and the so-called resources that you are talking about. My suggestion is that if we do not have nothing to offer on this blog in this case, it is better to shot-up and watch the trial.

    2. I was wondering about the conditions under which this “statement” was taken. Why was the translated transcript used in place of the actual words? And why didn’t the defense ask this ambassador to testify directly?

  3. From a top rebel RUF commander to a top UN Head in Sierra Leone, ever one says Mr. Taylor is not responsible for what when wrong. What next people?

    Harris K Johnson

    1. Well, uuunm, well I think the judgement lies in oneself hand. If you are accused of committing a crime and then taken to court but later find out from all evedences that you did not commit that crime, WHAY YOU THINK SHOULD HAPPEN?

  4. Alpha/Tracey,

    quoting from paragraphs 4, 5 above:

    “While Ambassador Adeneji noted the support Mr. Sesay received from ECOWAS leaders, he was clear in his statement that he could not remember the circumstances surrounding Mr. Sesay’s appointment as leader of the RUF.

    “I cannot remember the details of Sesay’s appointment as leader of the RUF but I do know that ECOWAS accepted Sesay as leader of the RUF,” the Ambassador said.”

    how will Adeniji be able to “remember” the circumstances surrounding Mr Sessay’s appointment when he was not part of the process and was not part of the meeting where Sessay’s appointment was made?

    one can only remember what one has a prior knowledge of. in this case Mr Adeniji did not have a prior knowledge of the circumstances of Isaa Sessay’s appointment so there is no way he could comment on that.

  5. Noko4

    Let me make this as clear as possible. I didn’t say Mr. Sesay was lying nor telling the truth. I said he was not reliable. Every one has heard the old folk tell about The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Mr. Sesay (or any convicted criminal whom contested the charges against them) can be compared to the boy who cried wolf due to his prior interaction with the Special Courts of Sierra Leonean. The moral of the story is “Nobody believes a liar…even when he is telling the truth!”

    1. A-Solo,
      what do you mean by Issa Sessay is not reliable? you cannot be speaking with both sides of your mouth at the same time. it looks like hypocrasy to me. you simply have not stated what you think about his testimony. but what you or me or anyone thinks does not matter it is what the judges think that ultimately matters.

      Maybe I also need to remind you that Issa Sessay was convicted based on the doctrine of COMMAND RESPONSIBILITY been the most senior surviving leader of the RUF.

      1. sam

        I applaud your strong support for Mr. Taylor but please don’t let it give you “tunnel vision”. During Mr. Taylor testimony andrew jlay received information that Mr. Sesay might testify on behalf of Mr. Taylor’s defense. I thought it was a bad idea then and still think it’s a bad idea, so you hypocrisy theory can be filed under “emotional outbursts”. The only good thing Mr. Sesay brings to the table is he never denied his status with the RUF, but the curse is he conveniently removes himself of any command responsibilities of his subordinate. Although, Mr. Sesay has supportive documentation to his testimony he is still conveniently removing himself of any command responsibilities of his subordinate. Here lies the problem with Mr. Sesay reliability. The prosecution claims that Mr. Taylor back/supported the RUF through senior official like Mr. Sesay. Mr. Taylor’s case has a direct link to the command responsibilities of Mr. Sesay, therefore providing a conflict of interest. Mr. Sesay is repeating the same lines that got him convicted by respected collogues of Mr. Taylor’s judges. It’s not my mouth that appears to be slanted, the tunnel vision got you seeing things side ways. I’m going to attempt to help you see thing straight. If someone told you father a story and your father deemed it to be false, would you think that person is a 100% reliable even after that person keep telling you the same story he told your father.

        1. Character reliability is the edge the prosecution can use to deem Mr. Sesay testimony unreliable. So please take your party hats off (noko4 deduct those point on your score you gave the defense) and keep your boxing gloves on.

    2. Al,
      How much is CREDIBILITY in this case….the man’s words are BACKUP by and with DOCUMENTS… tell me where he lacks CREDIBILITY please. Remember he is not on the stand in defense of his trial but a WITNESS who was in the MIDDLE of the happenings…..we see LEADERS, who were involved, praising him but WHITE MEN did him in….This is the same TRICKS they believe was going to be in this case, but the wheels have fallen apart and if those judges CONVICT based on the evidences presented…..they will be the one with the CREDIBILITY issue.

      Mr. Sesay said he was NOT guilty of the charges against him and was found GUILTY….case close but if as I read the exchanges between him and Perry Mason, he didn’t get a FAIR TRIAL!!!!. Witnesses were BOUGHT and the prosecutors even tried to BUY him just to convict this one man, Mr. Charles Taylor….if you cannot thru the smoke, well, Mr Sesay is laying it out for ALL to see.

      Don’t get me wrong, Mr. Taylor is NO angel but the charges DO NOT add up based on the MANDATE of this court….do you need to see the MANDATE??

  6. Can someone please help me. I turned on my desktop this morning 7/28/10 and Mr Griffith shouted at Mr koumjian to “Sit down” and let him (Griffiths) finished.

    I had to run. What was all that about?

    1. Big B,
      Mr. Koumjian had objeceted to a line of questioning by Mr. Griffiths. During Mr. Griffiths reply to the objection Mr. Koumjian stood up to speak while Griffiths still had the floor. Mr. Griffiths then told him to sit down he is not finished speaking. Judge Subintude then asked the two counsels to observe decorum in the court room. The objection was eventually overruled.

      1. Thanks Aki,

        Mr. Koumjian will have to learn how to be polite and showed a bit more respect for his colleague. Now, I see where the heaters got their arrogance, disrespect and impolite behaviors from.

      2. I wonder what will Mr. Koumjian have done if he was on the defense side?? He even objected to Mr. Sesay seeing the very document he was about to be questioned on…..

        Sept 2001….DISARMING going on and a FAKE DOCUMENT signed by one of the prosecutors’ witnesses about Mr. Yeaten and Mr. Sesay planning to start a war….who signed that document on behalf Mr. Sesay and Mr. Yeaten when NO OTHER DOCUMENTS was signed on BEHALF….and Mr. Koumjian wanted to OBJECT for foundation……I think Perry Mason got them on the ropes.

        EXPOSE ALL THE DIRTY SECRETS Mr. Griffith!!!

  7. I do not know why the prosecution is even trying to get Mr. Campbell as a witness. It is over for them.
    The only thing left is the defense to end and the judges come back with a not guilty on all account. Mr.Taylor has showns that it do not make a different how many people repeat the same lies, it will not make them the truth.

  8. And we march on!!!! What more EVIDENCE is needed folks???

    Ms. Teage what is your take on today’s development??

  9. NOKO 5 usually say ” AYA” and I think that’s all I m going to say too… AYA where’s the “GREATEST RESPONSIBILITY CHARGE AT” Straight-up in the land field, NO recycle. Damn, UK (Griffiths) 10 while the USA (Brenda) 1. Where are the evidences.

  10. Fellows, once again I want to say a few things as I rather enjoy reading some of the mess being writen than to argue with people who simply not following the development in the court room but just voicing their openion. I know that htere are lots of people on blogging here who are just against the former Liberian President, Mr C.G.M.Taylor. But let me say it hear clearly that an accused person is still inocent until proven guilty in a court, even the special court of Sierra Leone. Because Mr Taylor is being trail for war crimes committed in Sierra Leone and not Liberia, all I thought was that every Sierra Leonian witness being brought in the court to testify. would have gone against Mr Taylor, but to my utmost suprised, its all going the other way round. Regretably, I still see people saying that Mr Taylor should never win his case. I wish some of you would have done yourself justice, and offer yourself as a witness so that permission can be granted by the defence team for you to go and tell your story. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIs PEOPLE?? I want to wish all Liberians especially on this blog a happy Independence Day. May I seize this opportunity to also wish Mr Charles G.M.Taylor happy, happy Independence Day.

    1. Taylor , probably, is not thinking about independence day when he,himself, remains incarcerated. What we should wish taylor is a peaceless night since he knows no such thing as peace of mind. Not if he could not remember ever doing anything illigal to any one in Sierra Leone. Not when taylor remembers never giving orders, as alleged, to kill anyone, anywhere. Stop drooling from the corner of your mouth!

  11. Those who back the prosecution are now crying foul – a thing they did not do when the prosecution’s witnesses, primarily driven by monies offered by the prosection for them (prosection witnesses) to lie on poor Mr. Charles Dahkpanah Ghankay Taylor, nobody heard say a word. Now that Mr. Sesay is saying what “everybody” knows, the prosecution and its supporters are shedding tears. May they all go home with their tails between their legs.
    GO GHANKAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Wow,Winslow calls taylor’s situation”independence?” He is locked up and serves as a prisoner..boy.. I know taylor is sick of people saying things that earn him more disrespect!

  12. Sam, the character testimony by Ambassador Adenejifor for Issa Sesay says one thing. That ECOWAS supported the leadership of Issa Sesay and clearly indicated that they would work with no other person but Issa.

    Now, one can appreciate your query with Ambassador Adeneji’s statement “I cannot remember the details of Sesay’s appointment as leader of the RUF but I do know that ECOWAS accepted Sesay as leader of the RUF.” Notwithstanding, when properly analyze, this statement could only be seen as a statement of fact without any prejudice to Mr. Taylor. The statement does not provide any contradiction regarding the “details of Sesay’s appointment as leader of the RUF.” I thought you agreed that Ambassador Adeneji would not know the “details” because he was not part of the meting that appointed Issa Sesay. Ambassador Adeneji is simply saying he does not knows the “details” and we should give him the benefit of doubt ,however his statement appears doubtful.

    So, the central trust of Ambassador Adeneji’s statement has to do with the clear and obvious fact that ECOWAS supported Issa Sesay as interim leader and clearly articulated that position. More-so, it is the fact that whoever or whatever means that led to Issa Sesay becoming the interim leader of RUF must have been accepted and endorsed by ECOWAS. Most importantly, it was under Issa Sesay that PEACE returned to SL-this FACT is UNDISPUTED.

    In the face of SL’s PEACE, occasioned and undertaken by Issa Sesay’s leadership. Then how can some people reached a different conclusion that even if it was Charles Taylor that appointed Issa Sesay, it was a bad thing. How can the return of PEACE to SL by Issa Sesay be a bad thing? One would think, if we accept the false premise that Charles Taylor controlled the RUF, and he appointed Issa Sesay as interim leader to bring PEACE to SL. Wouldn’t it be logical to gave Mr. Taylor credit for making a wise decision to appoint Issa Sesay to bring PEACE to SL? Why should Mr. Taylor not get any credit for bringing PEACE to SL? Why should Issa Sesay not get any credit for ensuring PEACE in SL?

    Well, we need not look further, the DIAMOND COMPANIES of London was profiting from the war in SL and never wanted to see an end to war. I am reminded about Sandlines!!!

    1. @ Momo Dahn
      You make a very good point about the diamond companies. What role they played or benefit they gained by the SL war continuing?

  13. amax2020,
    You have an amazing ability at expressing yourself. Just go through your responses on this forum and you will quickly see what I’m driving at. It is truly astonishing that you see yourself as a critic of opinions on this site

  14. J. Fallah Menjor,

    I seriousely take exception to you comment. I think you are living in a diferent world my brother. The present financial predicament in the world was cause by Westerner who lie about everything. Please keep your debate to the point and stop insulting the people of West AFrica. Where are you from? I think you should carefuly listen to Malcolm X speech on the two types of people of African descent in America during the time of slavery.

    1. Don’t take my backlash seriously, Emmanuel George, because I am from West Africa too, believe it or not. That is why I read each West African mind on this blog and know how they think and how hatefully we treat each other! Remember the slave trade? It wasn’t East Africans that were selling our kins to the European Slave traders on the Gold Coast, but West Africans themselves. Right now you find Sierra Leonean and Liberian Refugees all over the world in a Neo slavery deperate need, yet some continue to defend the man behind it all, and even go to the extend of making mockery of the victimized by shouting rediculous slogans on this blog! What do you expect Fallah to say when 99% of his tribal people were direct victims? I will sacrifice my remaining life to their cause, Emmanuel George. You can say what you may but the cause is set.. taylor and all those who raped and murdered our Native West Africans,as alleged, must be brought to Justice!

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