Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor was the president of Liberia from 1997 till 2003. In the beginning of his political career, he worked in the government of Samuel Doe, in which he was removed for embezzlement. He later went to Libya, got trained as a guerrilla fighter.  In 1989, he returned to Liberia as the head of a Libyan-backed resistance group, the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, to overthrow the Doe regime. Thus, he initiated the First Liberian Civil War. Doe was executed and then Charles took control of large portions of the country and became a big warlord in Africa. He corced the population to elect him as president in 1997, involved in several war crimes and crimes against humanity as a result of his involvement in the Sierra Leone Civil War.  The growth of his opponents in the later half of 1990s culminated in second Civil War of Liberia in 1999. He had lost most territories in 2002 and then was formally indicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone.  Later, he resigned and went on exile to Nigeria. In 2006, the new President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf formally requested Nigeria for his extradition. He was later detained by UN authorities in Sierra Leone and then at the Penitentiary Institution Haaglanden in The Hague, awaiting trial.  In 2012 , he was found guilty of all eleven charges levied by the Special Court, including terror, murder and rape. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison for “some of the most heinous and brutal crimes recorded in human history”. Prosecutors say he funnelled arms, ammunition and other supplies in return for “blood diamonds” mined using slave labour.

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