Liberians Set for Taylor Arrest Warrant
November 14, 2000
A Liberian US-based pro-democracy group, the Liberian Democratic Future, says it is finalizing plans to institute an international arrest warrant against President Charles Taylor for his alleged execution of a number of prominent Liberian politicians and pro-democracy activists, along with alleged crimes against humanity. The group says Taylor's recent trip to France necessitates an international legal action to bring him to justice.
The United States recently barred President Taylor, his family and members of his Government from entering America due to his alleged backing Sierra Leone rebels. Former US President Jimmy Carter, who ran a democracy-building group in the country, has shut down operations, charging the President with human rights abuses and destabilizing the West African region.
"We intend to let the French and other European Governments know that Mr. Taylor is an international criminal. We are disappointed that a democracy like France, where modern concepts of liberty were born, can encourage a man who has killed, is killing so many people for personal wealth. Taylor has caused the amputation of children limbs in Sierra Leone for diamonds, and yet the French Socialist Government expects to be taken seriously when it talks about good governance. This is typical deception that has plunged Africa into irredeemable mess. France did the same with Mobutu. Now they are grooming another Mobutu. In our own way, we want to expose this hypocrisy and barbarity", says Siahyonkron Nyanseor, Chairperson of the Liberian Democratic Future.
The group said other Sierra Leonean and African pro-democracy groups in the United States and Europe have expressed interests in collaborating to ensure that Taylor is brought to justice in the same manner Chilean dictator Pinochet was brought to justice.
"Developments around the world, in places like Chile and the Former Yugoslavia encourage us. If they can make plans to arrest Milosevic , we see no reason why Charles Taylor, a man now described as the "Milosevic of Africa", should not fall in the same category. He will and we will ensure that", Nyanseor said.
The Liberian war, which ended with the presidency of Taylor, described as leading one of the most vicious armies in modern history, left 250,000 killed, about 45,000 of them children according to UN figures. Prominent politicians of African-Liberian background, such the presumed winner of the 1985 elections Jackson F. Doe, and several others were allegedly ordered executed by Mr. Taylor.