Charles Taylor, (born January 28, 1948 in Arthington, Liberia) is a former President of the Republic of Liberia. According to the late 1990s, it is among other accused of having favored a civil war that lasted more than ten years.
He was indicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The Security Council called on all governments to freeze his assets and those of his family. He lived in exile in Nigeria for several years. In March 2006, while trying to flee to Cameroon, he was arrested and extradited to Sierra Leone.
Created in 1816, Liberia is a country formed by freed slaves repatriated and the Americas. The descendants of slaves is only 5% of the total population, but have almost always been in power since independence in 1847.
Taylor was born January 28, 1948 to an American father and a mother Americo-Liberian who are part of the country's elite. At 24, Taylor left Liberia for work and study in the United States and in 1977, he graduated in economics from Bentley College in Massachusetts.
During his studies, Taylor developed an interest in politics and decides to join the Union of Liberian Associations (ULA) of which he became national president. The group denounced the regime of Liberian President at the time, William Tolbert. Shortly after, the latter is murdered, the victim of a coup by Samuel Doe. Doe became President Taylor appointed him counselor and entrusts the General Government. After embezzling $ 900,000 in three years, Taylor lost his job and fled to the United States.
Arrested and jailed, he managed to escape and fled to Africa to prepare a rebellion against Samuel Doe. To do this, he joined the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) and became leader in the late 1980s. In 1989, the NPFL launched an attack is the beginning of the civil war.
Soon, Taylor controls most of the country, but a split within the NPFL slows its conquest. In fact, one of his key lieutenants, Prince Johnson, dissociates from its leader and founded with nearly 1000 men INPLF (Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia). Prince Johnson and his troops took control of the capital Monrovia, and killed Samuel Doe. Troops clash of Taylor and Johnson and the Civil War takes its full extent during the seven years that follow. In July 1997, elections were held and Taylor was elected with 75% of the vote. The elections were just held by international observers, but doubts persist about its validity.
During his reign as head of state, Taylor continues to fight all those who oppose his power. The repression against the opposition will be 150,000 deaths until 1995. Moreover, suspend civil liberties in his country and centralize power in his hands by creating a true authoritarian regime. Gradually, the resistance to the reign of Taylor takes shape. Taylor's troops suffered in the first offensive of the group Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), a movement supported by the United States and the Guinean border regime, and later, the offensive Movement Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), a group consisting mainly of members of the tribe of Samuel Doe, Taylor's predecessor.
Meanwhile, internationally, Taylor is increasingly isolated, despite the expenditure of at least 2.6 million dollars to improve its image in the United States, through such lobbyers Lester Hyman, which arranged a meeting between Hillary Clinton and his wife, televangelist Pat Robertson or who obtained a concession in exchange for a gold mine, or General Robert Yerkes.
He has had sanctions imposed by the Security Council as a UN embargo on exports of diamonds and timber and travel bans for himself and his presidential team. Taylor is facing enormous pressure from all sides to leave the country. Officials from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have actually come to Liberia to ask Taylor to leave in order to end the conflict.
Pushed into a corner, Charles Taylor stepped down in August 2003 for exile in Nigeria.
Conflict in Sierra Leone
Taylor also began an arms deal with the neighboring country, Sierra Leone, it exchanges cons of diamonds (see conflict diamonds).
Charles Taylor sponsored the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) of Sierra Leone by Foday Sankoh and Sam Bockarie, a rebel movement that exhibits extreme violence. As such, he is accused of crimes against humanity for extermination, murder, rape, sexual slavery and conscripting child soldiers.
Crimes against humanity
* Charles Taylor is indicted for crimes against humanity, war crimes and other violations of international humanitarian law by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL or Special Court for Sierra Leone).
* He faces eleven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He is accused of backing the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), two revolutionary groups in Sierra Leone. It is, according to the indictment, the central figure of the civil wars that ravaged Liberia and Sierra Leone between 1989 and 2003 and claimed nearly 400,000 lives. Thousands of people have been amputated, raped and forced into sexual slavery during World War largely funded by trafficking in "blood diamonds (" Blood Diamonds ").
* March 29, 2006: Charles Taylor is arrested and extradited to Nigeria to Sierra Leone to stand trial by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL). For security reasons, the SCSL has requested, March 31, 2006, the expatriation of the trial in The Hague, capital of international justice. The arrest of Charles Taylor has been made possible through the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Monrovia and in the hope of stabilizing the country. The Western powers and the leaders of West Africa have finally released the one they had in exile in Nigeria after promising impunity in exchange for his departure from the presidency and its non-intervention in the affairs of Liberia.
* April 7, 2006: Members of the Security Council of the United Nations have agreed on a transfer to The Hague, Netherlands, the trial of Charles Taylor appears before the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL).
* June 4, 2007: Trial of Charles Taylor to The Hague, Netherlands. The trial is being held in a room of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) relocated from Freetown to The Hague in the premises of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the request of the Liberian authorities, who cited security reasons . He decided to plead not guilty but refuses to appear.
In a letter read by his lawyer Karim Khan, Charles Taylor writes that he 'came to the conclusion that I would not have fair trial before the Special Court "and therefore refuses to attend to what he calls comedy "unfair to the people of Liberia and the people of Sierra Leone". The European Union has promulgated several regulations sanctioning near Taylor, in agreement with the decision of the Sanctions Committee of the Security Council of the UN concerning the freezing of assets of individuals.
See also Nelson Mandela
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