By Will Morton
Charles Taylor, former president of Liberia, was yesterday convicted of “aiding and abetting” war crimes perpetrated by the Revolutionary United Front during the Sierra Leone civil war. This has been heralded by some as a major coup for international justice but there is a significant question being ignored:
Why is Charles Taylor, who was central to 14 years of one of the most brutal civil wars in history, only being charged with collusion in crimes committed by his associates? Why, when between 1989 and 2003 he played a central role in one of the most brutal civil wars in history, is he being tried for crimes that occurred in a neighbouring country? This is the man whose supporters during his campaign for presidency sang, “He killed my ma, he killed my pa, but I will vote for him.” This is the man whose son, Charles McArther Emmanuel Taylor, is serving 97 years for Human Rights Violations he committed whilst serving as commander of his father’s Anti-Terrorist Unit.