Liberia's former president, Charles Taylor, has been sentenced to 50 years in jail for aiding and abetting rebels during Sierra Leone's 1991-2002 civil war. Taylor was found guilty by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in a trial that began in 2007. Taylor pleaded not guilty throughout and has said that he will appeal against the sentence. He is due to serve any sentence in the UK's Belmarsh prison, though he will be held in The Hague during his appeal.
For a fuller understanding of Taylor's sentencing, Think Africa Press brings together three articles: a historical review and on-the-ground analysis from both the Hague and Liberia.
Read Paul Carlucci's review of Charles Taylor and Liberia by Colin Waugh for an in-depth history of Charles Taylor's rise to the Liberian presidency and for context around his landmark trial at The Hague.
Read Robtel Pailey's article from the judgment at The Hague for an assessment of the selective nature of the trial and for a critical examination of the legitimacy and effect of international justice systems on those communities actually affected by the crimes in question.
Read Clair MacDougall's report from Monrovia and Gbarnga, Taylor's former stronghold, for an on-the-ground understanding of Liberians' hopes for reconciliation and justice and their varied views on the fact that Taylor was tried for crimes committed in neighbouring Sierra Leone and that major figures from Liberia's own civil wars are still big political players and have not been brought to trial.
|Ambition and Atrocity in Africa's Lone Star State||Paul Carlucci|
|Charles Taylor Trial: Justice For Whom, By Whom?||Robtel Neajai Pailey|
|Charles Taylor Trial: Awaiting Justice and Reconciliation in Liberia||Clair Macdougall|