One Gov’t, Cannot Handle Taylor Issue - Foyah

By: Lewis K. Glay

Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted February 14, 2006


Sierra Leonean Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Liberia, Patrick J. Foyah sees former President Charles Taylor’s trial as an international issue” that cannot be single-handedly handled by one government.

Amidst persistent calls by right advocates that Mr. Taylor be immediately transferred from Calaba, Nigeria to face the special court in Freetown, Sierra Leone for allegedly committing crimes against humanity, Mr. Foyah said international negotiation would be appropriate in dealing with such highly critical issue.

He maintained that Mr. Taylor has to appear to defend himself against those allegations centering his involvement in the Sierra Leonean civil war, but noted that the AU, ECOWAS, EU and the United States of America should be given the opportunity to collectively negotiate the process.

Amb. Foyah believes that the arrangement that facilitated the departure of the former Liberian leader to Calaba during the intensification of the Liberian civil war should be used by the negotiators in seeking his prosecution.

The Sierra Leonean envoy said the special court in Freetown was set up by the international community to try people who are connected to the committing of atrocities against Sierra Leoneans during the nation’s civil war; yet he believes Sierra Leone or Liberia cannot address such issue alone.
Amb. Foyah made these statements last weekend at his 15th Street office in Sinkor, when he addressed journalists on numerous bilateral issues concerning the West African Sub-region.

As members of the MRU, he noted that Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have the task to cement their non- aggression treaty to ensure good neighborliness in terms of bilateral cooperation among them.

Amb. Foyah also disclosed that high level negotiations are being held currently between his government and the Chinese for the construction of a hydro dam in Sierra Leone in the Bekonkou River to generate power that could supply his country and Liberia.

As part of confident building measures between the two countries he said President Tejan Kabah has instructed him to engage Vice President Joseph Boakai on bilateral talks and that by March this year, a community development meeting is expected to take place between Sierra Leone and Liberia in Foyah, Lofa County.

Amb. Foyah has at the same time urged Liberians to support the government of Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to sustain the peace now prevailing in the country. He said that the nation’s future lies in the hands of its citizens whom he maintained need to take the lead in fostering security, development and unity among themselves especially following a prolonged civil war.

He reminded Liberians that the former National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) deserves commendation for ensuring successful elections and genuine peace and stability in the country.

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