NEWS DISPATCHES > Fugitive Liberian Ex-President Captured On the Nigeria/Cameroon Border


29 Mar 2006

The fugitive Liberian ex-leader has been arrested trying to escape into neighbouring Cameroon after ‘disappearing’ from his asylum home in Calabar, Nigeria. The news of Charles Taylor’s dramatic escape a few days ago sent shock waves around Africa and beyond and his capture is a welcome relief.

Taylor has been living in exile in Nigeria since 2003 following an agreement to end Liberia’s civil war that had taken a toll on that country and beyond for more than a decade.

Taylor faces 17 counts of war crimes at the joint UN/Sierra Leonian special tribunal at Freetown for his role in the atrocities committed against the people of Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Following his arrest, a Nigerian government spokesman said Taylor was to be ‘repatriated immediately’ to Liberia. It was confirmed on Wednesday afternoon (Nigerian time) that a Nigerian plane carrying Taylor was en route to Liberia.

Although Liberia was reportedly not prepared to receive Taylor, the Nigerians had to send him anyway. Charles Taylor had become an embarrassment and a hot potato for the Nigerians and they were certainly in a hurry to get rid of him after his capture.

The Taylor disappearance coincided with the Nigerian president’s visit to the U.S and the issue was certainly going to mar Obasanjo’s trip had he not been caught.

Njei Moses Timah

 

Njei Moses Timah