Taylor verdict delivers 'powerful message'

2012-04-27 08:07

Washington - The conviction of Liberian ex-president Charles Taylor on Thursday sends a "powerful message" to all war criminals, the United States said, hailing the "enormous" historical milestone.

Taylor is expected to be jailed in Britain after he is sentenced on 30 May, ending five years of hearings at the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone.

"The conviction of Mr Taylor for war crimes and crimes against humanity during Sierra Leone's civil war in the 1990s sends a powerful message about accountability," White House spokesperson Jay Carney said in a statement, adding that the United States "applauds" the verdict.

"While there is no way fully to redress the suffering and loss of those who were killed, tortured, raped and enslaved in the service of Taylor's criminal schemes, we are hopeful that today's ruling will help to dissuade others who might follow in his footsteps."

US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland noted that the trial carried "enormous historical and legal significance" as it was "the first of a powerful head of state to be brought to judgment before an international tribunal on charges of mass atrocities and serious violations of international humanitarian law".

She said the successful completion of the Special Court for Sierra Leone's work "remains a top US government priority".

Blood diamonds

The court convicted Taylor, aged 64, of helping rebels in Liberia's neighbour Sierra Leone to wage a campaign of terror against the mineral-rich country's people during a decade-long civil war that killed 120 000.

Taylor was paid in so-called 'blood diamonds', illegally mined by Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels, who were known for murdering and raping civilians and chopping off limbs with machetes.

"Today's ruling also marks an important landmark for the people of Sierra Leone and neighbouring Liberia," Carney said.

"By helping to assign responsibility for Taylor's dark chapter in history where it belongs, the Special Court has only strengthened the foundation on which this forward-looking work can proceed."

The United States has been a strong supporter of post-war Liberia - founded by freed US slaves - with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton developing a close relationship with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first elected female head of state.

While supporting the Special Court, the United States is not a participant in the permanent International Criminal Court.

Former president George W Bush opposed the permanent court in The Hague, fearing it would unfairly target Americans, but President Barack Obama has backed working ties with it.

Read more on:    hillary clinton  |  ellen johnson sirleaf  |  charles taylor  |  barack obama  |  sierra leone  |  liberia  |  war crimes  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
23 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Saturday Newlands - 12:32 PM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    DELAYS between Wynberg Hill and UCT due to 2 Oceans Marathon
  • Saturday Hout Bay - 12:31 PM
    Road name: Hout Bay Main Road
    EXPECT DELAYS between Hout Bay and Constantia due to 2 Oceans Marathon
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia C3

The Nokia C3 Features a 2+ Megapixel Camera, A2DP, Bluetooth,...

From R1175.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.