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» 22.04.2010 - President Ellen in Liberia poll headache
» 15.02.2010 - IMF commissions a mission to Liberia
» 22.12.2009 - First female wins Liberia's youth leadership award
» 18.12.2009 - Liberia exempted from arms embargo
» 17.12.2009 - Media rights group condemns arrest of media players
» 01.12.2009 - Liberia pledges support to small farmers
» 07.10.2009 - Young Liberians to audition for top music award
» 02.10.2009 - West African biodiversity corridor high on Abidjan meeting

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Politics | Society | Human rights

Taylor's RUF link exposed

afrol News, 15 May - Moses Blah, the former Liberian President, has become the most high-profile figure to testify in Charles Taylor's war crimes trial in The Hague. Mr Blah has confirmed that Mr Taylor, a former warlord-turned-President, had links with Sierra Leone's rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF).

Blah first became Vice President between 2000 and 2003, and later President for two months after Taylor was forced into exile in 2003.

As one of the first rebel fighters who received training at a military base in Burkina Faso, Mr Blah's testimony was a recount of an insider's account. He said he had met Mr Taylor in a military camp in Libya. With support from Libyan authorities, Liberian rebels were trained together with colleagues from The Gambia, Sierra Leone and the Phillipines.

He said the Taylor regime "had men in Sierra Leone figting and associating with the RUF." He also confirmed the dead Sierra Leone rebel commander, Sam Bockaries, who was in Libya, called Mr Taylor "chief."

Blah told the UN Special Tribunal for Sierra Leone that that RUF rebel leader, Foday Sankoh, had personally complained to Mr Taylor about atrocities committed by Liberians supporting the RUF.

Blah said his former boss had rejected complaints from Sierra Leone rebels about atrocities committed by his fighters and threatened to withdraw his troops.

He further informed the court that the Defence Minister of Cote d'Ivoire had provided them with three truck loads of weapons when they wanted to invade Liberia.

Mr Taylor launched arms rebellion in Liberia on 24 December 1989 before he was elected President in 1997.

The former President was accused of supporting RUF rebels with troops and weapons in exchange for diamonds to the RUF during that country's civil war characterised by a number of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including killings, amputation of arms and limbs and rape.

He had denied all the 11 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

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