All My Discussions With Mr. Taylor Were About Peace In Sierra Leone, Issa Sesay Tells Special Court

A former Sierra Leonean rebel leader testifying for Charles Taylor today told the Special Court for Sierra Leone judges in The Hague that all the discussions he had with the former Liberian president focused mainly on how to bring the conflict in Sierra Leone to an end.

Issa Hassan Sesay, a former interim leader of the Revolutionary Unit Front (RUF) who has been convicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone for his role in the Sierra Leone conflict and who now is serving a 52 year jail sentence in Rwanda, has spent more than two weeks testifying for Mr. Taylor. In his testimony today, Mr. Sesay gave credence to a regular theme that was prevalent in Mr. Taylor’s own testimony: that Mr. Taylor was a peacemaker and his involvement with rebel forces in Sierra Leone was solely to bring an end to the conflict in that country.

When asked today by a defense lawyer for Mr. Taylor, Silas Chikera what the nature of his discussions with Mr. Taylor were in the year 2000, Mr. Sesay had this to say:

“All the discussion I had with Charles Taylor in 2000 was about peace in Sierra Leone, and it is in those discussions that peace started and that’s why peace returned to Sierra Leone.”

Mr. Taylor has long maintained that he only had dealings with RUF rebels because he was working with the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to bring peace to Sierra Leone. Prosecutors on the other hand have said that Mr. Taylor was in control of the rebel group and that in his regular meetings with RUF commanders in Liberia, he received diamonds from the rebels, gave them arms and ammunition for use in Sierra Leone, and helped them to plan certain operations that led to the commission of crimes against the civilian population of the country. According to prosecutors, when Mr. Sesay became leader of the RUF, Mr. Taylor instructed him not to allow the RUF to be disarmed by United Nations peacekeepers. Mr. Taylor has denied these assertions. Today, Mr. Sesay told the court that the allegations are lies because Mr. Taylor was a peacemaker.

“Mr. Taylor was concerned about the disarmament in Sierra Leone and the commitment of the RUF…Even Mr. Taylor was one of the ECOWAS leaders who brokered peace in Sierra Leone,” Mr. Sesay told the court.

Mr. Sesay also refuted the testimony of a previous prosecution witness Abu Keita, who in 2008 told the court that on the instructions of Mr. Taylor, Mr. Sesay asked RUF fighters to attack Guinea with the aim of unseating that country’s president, the late Lansana Conte. Mr. Keita told the court that he was among those who were sent to attack Guinea. Mr. Sesay denied this account, saying instead that the the RUF only entered into Guinea when they repelled Guinean forces who had attacked RUF positions in Sierra Leone.

When asked by Mr. Chikera why the RUF had to go into Guinean territory, Mr. Sesay said, “It was to ensure that the Guineans did not attack RUF position and they had been doing it from 1998.”

“The Guineans had been crossing and attacking RUF positions in 1998 and the RUF had been in Kailahun since 1991 and they never crossed into Guinea but the Guineans started attacking RUF positions from [19] 98 up to 2000…When they returned to Guinea, RUF chased them there,” Mr. Sesay said.

Mr. Sesay dismissed as lies, claims by Mr. Keita when he testified for the prosecution that Mr. Sesay sent him and some men to attack Guinea.

“I did not send Abu Keita or any other person to attack Guinea. He is lying. That is a lie,” Mr. Sesay told the court.

Mr. Sesay told the court that Mr. Keita had made up stories against Mr. Taylor because the Prosecutor had made promises to send him and his family abroad and to give him some money for his testimony. He said when the Prosecutor had not honoured his promise, Mr. Keita had threatened to take legal action against the Prosecutor in the Sierra Leonean courts. Mr. Sesay said he read about Mr. Keita’s threat of court action in the Sierra Leonean newspapers while he (Sesay) was in detention in Sierra Leone.

Mr. Sesay’s testimony continues on Tuesday. On Monday, Hollywood actress Mia Farrow and Naomi Campbell’s former agent Carole White will take the witness stand to testify about allegations that Mr. Taylor gave Ms. Campbell a gift of rough diamonds in South Africa in 1997. Ms. Campbell herself testified about the incident yesterday.


  1. HI Tracy and Alpha, could you assist with providing the facts as to the story of Mr. Keita threathening to take legal action against the prosecution?

    1. Tracy/Alpha,
      Please do something about Johnny Ndebe request as you always do for jfallah and other in less time. We are waiting and watching.

      Harris K johnson

  2. OKAY, Issa Sesay, all you ever discussed with taylor was about ‘Peace!” Thank you for that piece of evidence. Note taken, and what else? For anyone one who believes Jfallahmenjor went silent like Big B, is having a wishful thinking because fallah is here to stay. I did not make further comments on Naomi since I am satisfied with her brief testimony. At least Naomi did not lie about many key points in her testimony;
    1. Naomi confirmed that “unpolished diamonds”,”dirty stones”, indeed, were given to her by two men, which clarifies the Prosecutions theory that Taylor had “rough” diamonds when he made this trip, via South Africa before making it to Bokina Faso, and new arms shipment to RUF shortly after this trip.. being delivered!
    2.That said stones are still around, indeed.
    Therefore, there is possibility the court could sopeono who Naomi claimed she gave the “dirty stones to and further more, Mandela’s Charity has already disassociated itself from ever receiving such donation!
    Now where is the rejoicing coming from? This’s why fallah chose not to engage in all the rubbish and theories that are flowing around on posibilities such as since the party took place in South Africa, there must have been many rich Africans who may have sent men to deliver diamonds to Naomi and not, possibly, taylor. Okay you may be right, but in this matter, why would Naomi fear testifying if this gift had nothing to do with taylor?

    1. Fallah,
      please provide the EVIDENCE. we do not need long arguements that does not provide evidence of the link between Mr Taylor and those two men. Mr Taylor never denied that two men gave diamonds to Naomi Campbell or not. what he simply said was that he was not the one that sent them. Now how does the testimony of Naonmi Campbell link Mr Taylor to those men? how?

      The fact is the prosecution FAILED to provve anything so they are back to square zero. It was a BIG victory for the defence. THE BURDEN OF PROOF IS ON THE PROSECUTION and they have failed woefully to carry that burden.

    2. Jfallah,
      It is a matter of stupidity for any legal mind to believe that Ms. Naomi testimony was of any help to the prosecution case against Mr. Taylor.

      Harris K Johnson

      1. Absolutely, Harris K. Johnson. You are entitled to your opinion. I have no problems with that. Don’t just attempt to force them on others..then I will respond! Nice Day..Buddy.

  3. J fallah Menjor,
    She stated that she feared testifying after all the things she read on the internet about Taylor. Have you ever seen anything good written about the man in Western newspapers ? Her fear has nothing to do with whether Taylor gave her the diamonds or not. I know you and the others are so disappointed that she didn’t nail Taylor like you thought she would do.

    I found Naomi to be a very credible witness. Her facts have now been corroborated by Mr. Ratcliffe who has confirmed indeed she did give him the diamonds. I know you thought that was a lie also until Mr. Ratcliffe spoke out.

  4. jfallahmenjor,
    The simple reason why Ms. Campbell did not want to be involved in Mr. Taylor case was she had nothing to gain from creating false evidence to gain a conviction of Mr. Taylor. On the other hand Mr. Koumjian, Ms. Farrow and Ms. White did. So why put yourself and your family at risk for nothing.

  5. jfallahmenjor you as a Sierra Leonean it is understandable that level of interest you have in seeing Charles Taylor convicted and also your lack of objectivity in this entire case however whether Charles Taylor is convicted or not, the fact remains that it was Sierra Leoneans who directly cut the limps, rape, and killed the fellow kinsmen and this not even a Charles Taylor conviction will remove that stigma from them. Sierra Leoneans will have to seek and find redemption from thier fellow countrymen at the end of the day.

    Now to your point as stated, let me informed you that South Africa is also one of the world’s largest diamond mining country in fact, that was the reason of the the Portugues stay and the arrival of the Brits that resulted into aparthied. From Campbell’s testimony, the diamond could have come from any one in South Africa. Answer this question, why would Charles Taylor sent diamond as a gift to someone and do not later confirmed with that person if that kind of valueable gift was recieved. I have sent far less expensive gift to a lady of interest and i have called to confirmed the receipt of the gift-that’s the logical thing to do otherwise what is the purpose of sending gifts to a person especially a lady of interest when you can not acknowdedged it.

    Secondly, Naomi Campbell did not connect the men to Mr. Taylor or the stone to him, the assumption that the stones were from Mr. Taylor is just it – an assumption. There were other people in Mr. Taylor’s entourage who might have had interest in Ms. Campbell and not necessarily Mr. Taylor himself who had access to diamonds and they could have being the one sending it – but then again, like you, Farrow and White, i would be making an assumption.

    The fact is, no one have or can prove Taylor was involved in perpertrating the war or the crimes commited as the result the war in Sierra Leone to Mr. Taylor. If this trial remain fair without the intervention of powerful institutions with interest in seeing Mr. Taylor convicted, he will be a free man very soon and you and all of you kinsmen will have to face your people and beg them for redemption.

    By the way, Liberia should be persecuting the former Sierra Leonean President, Tejan Kabbah and the Sierra Military for organizing and supporting ULIMO who cause the same havoc in Liberia that your country is now accusing Mr. Taylor of including massive looting. Just so you know,

    I was in Sierra Leone (Koindu, Khalalum District) at the time of RUF entry, i reported extensively on the war and many of the peace process, I was in Freetown during the coup and the RUF entry into the city. You can check the records of Concord Times during the period in questioned.

  6. hishighnessjake,
    The whole story concerning this diamond issue has changed. At first, the prosecution stated that Mr. Taylor gave a large diamond to Ms. Cmpbell in South Africa in 1997 and that this diamond came from Sierra Leone . But we are hearing today that there were 2 or 3 dirty little pieces of diamonds delivered to Ms. Campbell by 2 unknowm men. Now my question is, were it a large diamond or 3 little diamonds? Setting up this whole case was a big Job the West was so much interested in until they couldn’t cover their dirty deals at all! The power of God is wonderful!

  7. NEWS FLASH………


    1. Is this a tale told by an idiot full of sorrow and horror, signifying nothing, Mr. CEE? The present leadership of Liberia is very credible and accepted in International Body, and that is why The WORLD BANK cleared your debts. Do you read other news sources? Hope you do and stop all this disrespectful claims about your leaders, and turn around to mock your African System, that you feel is superior to the Whiteman system that you crave! Is this why Taylor’s vision was about? Come on Cee, these are inflamatory remarks that get me to believe that these are the types of mentality that has kept Africa from developing! You seem to hate the whiteman ways but yet depend on him shamefully and talk about justice and democracy that you know nothing about much more to promote its establishment in your African society. Proof is that if you believe Taylor promoted justice on his country African Brothers in both Sierra Leone and Liberia by waging wars and terror, then you should not be taken seriously by any peace loving individuals! Please remain on your senless arguement about taylor’s innocence and stop picking fight with whiteman who you sold your own brothers to in the 16th Century and now in the 21th century for few pieces of diamons! Say what ever you wish to say but this is my position and I will tell you more news if you keep on this cause, Cee, and to anybody else that wants some hard facts! Jfallahmenjor is back and well rested!

      1. Fellah,
        Firstly i must apologise if i used the word African brothers & Sisters.I was intending to say Sierra Leone & Liberian brothers and sisters.

        Secondly,There is no system in liberia or sierra leone,so i am not that silly to think we are better than anyone,the current ruling classes in both countries are merely learning an old dance from an ex-dance teacher.

        Fellah I made that point because i have had the pevilege to be brought up in both continents,Educated,Eat,Sleep,Play,fight,with the likes of your masters since i was a child,some of my best friends are like your masters except we do not have a master servant relationship as you seem to be aspiring to and wish happens.
        I have observed the way some of our deem witted Sierra Leone and Liberia brothers and sisters operate around these people….,and knowing them the way i do…it can only result in a piss taking festival “thats them taking the piss out of you Fellah”

        Desperation has made these leaders clattering to conform to the old economics rules.Very Very yesterday!!!

        And stop been rude to the spirit of the future old man

  8. Well ms.Campbell is not afraid,cause she is not living in Africa and how will Taylor harm her ,the truth is the case is base on I say or they say,show video or picture of Taylor gaving diamond or show video of him in SierraLonne gavin orders,there is none of those evidence.he going to walk out if the court is free and fair.for Campbell story south Africa is a diamond reach country,so anybody might have given the gift,and if they bring the diamond who in this world will believe it the seem diamond,it cdma be change.

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