Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was jailed for 50 years today for helping Sierra Leonean rebels commit what a court in The Hague called some of the worst war crimes in history. Charles Taylor is the first head of state convicted by an international court since the Nazi trials after World War Two.
Sierra Leone’s civil war lasted 11-years and ended in 2002. Rebels from Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front murdered, mutilated and raped across the West African country.
The legacy of war continues to haunt the people of Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Actionaid Liberia works with women in rural and urban communities and in partnership with a number of organisations.
Women and youth survivors from the civil war are at the heart of ActionAid Liberia’s work to address the legacy of the conflict.
ActionAid Liberia believes that in order to build and promote democracy, stability and community development, individuals experiences of the violence carried out against them and their communities has to be acknowledged and addressed.
This is the only way that lives can be rebuilt and people’s full potential reached.
Korto Williams, Actionaid Liberia Country Director, said:
“Today’s verdict at The Hague proves that perpetrators of crimes against humanity can be tried in an international court of law and made to take responsibility for the horrific and brutal crimes they instigated.
“Hundreds and thousands of civilians, ordinary people in Liberia and Sierra Leone are still coming to terms with the legacy of war.
“Many are unable to forget what happened and are struggling to live with the physical and mental scars of conflict.
“Not only is this verdict an opportunity for Sierra Leone and Liberia to move forward, it also signals the international community’s clear intent that any leader who misuses their power and carries out state sanctioned violence will be held responsible for their crimes and will be punished.”