Why Put Charles Taylor on Trial

We petitioned Nigeria's Federal High Court last May to review the decision of Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo to grant refugee status to former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who is a fugitive from war crimes charges brought by a United Nations-backed Special Court in Sierra Leone. We are two of Taylor's many victims.

Seven years ago, we were young Nigerian businessmen trading in electronic hardware and medical equipment on Africa's West coast. We procured our supplies in Nigeria and exported them to Liberia and Sierra Leone. In the summer of 1997, David was in Monrovia when Charles Taylor was inaugurated President of Liberia following an eight-year civil war. One year later, the UN and the Economic Community of West African States deployed soldiers as peacekeepers in neighboring Sierra Leone to guarantee a ceasefire in that country's near-decade-long conflict, instigated by rebels of the Revolutionary United Front.

In the fall of 1998, we traveled separately on business trips to Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. On previous visits, we had heard reports of atrocities committed by RUF rebels, including amputations, rapes, and mutilations of civilians in the countryside. But the presence of the international community reassured us that it was safe to do business in the country. Both our home government and friends in Sierra Leone agreed. We planned to spend the Christmas and New Year holidays in Freetown before returning to Nigeria early in 1999.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/J7HloqE;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.