One has to applaud those who were responsible for finally bringing ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor to justice as well as what must be considered a landmark verdict.
Having at long last been found guilty of his war crimes, which were numerous and horrific – it is just a pity it took so long to bring him before the courts. I can only hope he won’t be given upmarket living quarters with all the luxuries he needs to satisfy his human rights.
What also concerns me somewhat is that I suspect that this is merely lip service being paid to the ex-dictator. I sincerely hope I am wrong. Time will tell how the punishment will be applied. I just hope it will be as harsh as it can possibly be.
It is a sad fact that this person was welcomed into South Africa as a hero of sorts and regarded as a great friend despite him being unable to quench his blood-lust and desire to terrorise, destabilise and steal the resources of another country. Hopefully, the large diamond he presented with such modest fanfare to Naomi Campbell will find its way back to those who it rightfully belongs to.
Whereas I applaud the verdict, what about the victims he and his thugs created? The suffering and misery these poor souls have had to endure defies belief. For them, his verdict may bring some satisfaction but it will never turn back the clock and give them back their lives.
What about the people who trained his so-called Presidential Guard, knowing full well that their students of mayhem were to be deployed in Sierra Leone to support the RUF and conduct atrocities against the innocent and the helpless?? Let us also not forget that this “Presidential Guard” was used to “pacify” and punish thousands of people in Liberia as well.
Apparently, the man who secured the contract to train Taylor’s Presidential Guard was the same man who for years, despite international embargos, supplied UNITA (who by the way did a lot of murdering as well) with a surface-to-air missile to shoot down an EO aircraft which resulted in two good men being killed.
I can only hope that more of Taylor’s associates and “business partners” will be brought to book.
Perhaps the guilty verdict will finally send a clear warning to those in power who believe they are immune to any laws and can therefore rape, murder and plunder as they see fit.
As always, only time will tell how serious we are about bringing these murderers and dictators to justice – or not.