Charles Taylor trial 'a threat to Africa'

2012-05-02 07:28

Monrovia - Former Liberian president Charles Taylor's conviction for aiding war crimes in Sierra Leone is a trap for all African leaders, a spokesperson for the Taylor family said on Tuesday.

"We believe that the trial and subsequent conviction of Mr Taylor is a trap that has been set up for African leaders by Western leaders," Sando Johnson, a Liberian senator, told AFP in Monrovia.

Taylor, 64, was found guilty by a special court in the Netherlands on 26 April of war crimes and crimes against humanity for supporting Sierra Leonean rebels in exchange for diamonds during their 10-year war.

A sentence is expected on 30 May.

The Liberian politician, regarded as the Taylor family's spokesperson, argued that African leaders needed to close ranks and warned that those of them tempted to reach out to Western powers would be made to regret it.

Johnson then recounted a rambling parable told by Taylor when he agreed to resign as president in August 2003 before going into exile.

The parable centred on three cows - a black, a red and a white cow - who befriend a lion. Having eaten up all the antelopes around, the hungry lion tells the white and red cows that they will be spared if they let him eat the black one. He repeats his trick until the white cow is left alone and gets eaten up too.

"You must be careful. Today is Charles Taylor. The black cow is going. The red cow is waiting out there," Taylor said in 2003.

The sentence

Johnson argued that history had vindicated Taylor's prediction, citing the demise of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi and the downfall of former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, who is awaiting trial in The Hague.

"Who knows, now these three cows have gone maybe another three cows will come. Once African leaders are not firm... the black race is going to suffer because of subjecting ourselves to the whites for little or nothing," he said.

Johnson also predicted that the sentence due to be handed out to Taylor at the end of the month would not be heavy.

"Mr Taylor is not going to be given a life or death sentence and if he is sentenced, it's not going to be for long years," he said, adding that Taylor's camp was willing to offer redress to Sierra Leone's war victims.

"If the people of Sierra Leone decide to demand for compensation from Liberia, I will be one of the leaders to stand up and ensure that Liberia pay that money to the Sierra Leoneans," Johnson said.

  • Koos - 2012-05-02 07:43

    1. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to predict that dictators will meet their end one day. 2. Stop blaming the whites for all your shortcomings. 3. African leaders should treat their 'subjects' with respect. When you get to lead a country it is a priveledge. It is not your right to enrich yourself once you become the leader. You should stay poor so that you know what it feels like.

      rdeloca - 2012-05-16 14:14

      It's comments like your number (2) that are inflammatory. Stop your paranoia and start being useful to Africa or as your type (not your KIND) likes to say, we will emigrate. Look around the world. Travel out there. No body wants new immigrants these days with nothing to offer, regardless of their skin color. I know - I've been to over 20 countries and I have followed that trend.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-02 07:44

    BS The Taylor family wants to make this a political football; Charles Taylor is a WAR CRIMINAL . There are 121 countries signatory to the ICC, amongst the 33 African states !! It is not a "trap".....It is a "WARNING" toany tyrant ANYWHERE in the world, that the International community will no longer tolerate tyranny !!

      Sterling - 2012-05-02 16:43

      This family of Taylor should be shame that a fiend like Taylor is part of their family. This man took eight years old and armed them, he had them to rub the sap from a tree to make the bullets bounce off them and he sent them on a killing spree. The people that weren't shot had their limbs cut off and were hacked to death. As a matter of facts, this fiend got away with murder because he got life and it should have been death.

  • Phae - 2012-05-02 08:05

    Come on new24 this is like quoting a crazy drunk uncle at a family wedding. Trying to incite anything? We should also be given a 'report' option at the end of your articles.

  • marais.adriaan - 2012-05-02 10:29

    If African leaders gets what is coming to them, Africa will be a better place for the African people.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-05-02 11:40

    Rich blaming the Western white for Africa's problems when anyone who has bothered to spend any time in Africa is fully aware that the white man is the only reason Africa is not a complete wasteland. Black culture is still too barbaric to be acceptable to anyone, and blacks treat their own race far worse than whites ever did.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-02 12:11

      Ludlowdj, What an utter BS

      Sterling - 2012-05-02 16:51

      You are so right the Africans traded their people off to the Arabs and Europeans for over three hundred years without a clue what was happening to them. Many African leaders are more brutal against the blacks in Africa then the colonial powers.

  • Selina - 2012-05-04 12:25

    look you so call kress3 you are a white fool! never you speak to a black man in that manner you silly goad.

      rdeloca - 2012-05-16 13:41

      You go, girl! Really, what compromises have these white folk made? You hear them whine and groan at just about anything. For Christ's sake, they should let the rest of us who love our continent and her people to redeem ourselves before God. If they want to be part of the solution, GREAT. If not, GREAT, then leave please.

  • rdeloca - 2012-05-16 13:35

    I am a black renaissance African. Without even speaking to the issue of war crimes. Hang the bugger for impoverishing a potentially wealthy nation. And all you white folks responding who think they are being vilified again, please, get off your high chairs that you are warming right now and start showing that you WANT to belong to Africa - or get the hell out. You won't be missed if you do.

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