By Sandra Birungi
Former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, will have to serve time in prison for his 50-year-old prison sentence.
Last year, Taylor was convicted of several crimes including war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during Sierra Leone’s civil war to which he was sentenced to 50 years in prison. However, they appealed the case in court of appeal but the ruling has been upheld.
Presiding judge George Gelaga King said Taylor had provided advice and encouragement to Revolutionary United Front and Armed Forces Revolutionary Council rebels, knowing full well the kinds of crimes they were committing. “Their primary purpose was to spread terror. Brutal violence was purposely unleashed against civilians with the purpose of making them afraid, afraid that there would be more violence if they continued to resist,” he said.
“Governments and the international community were also afraid that unless the RUF’s and the AFRC’s demands were met, thousands more killings, mutilations, abductions and rapes of civilians would follow.”
He was to be transferred from the seaside detention center that has been his home since 2006 to a British maximum security prison. Last year, he was convicted him on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for aiding and abetting the rebels who murdered, raped and pillaged their way through neighboring Sierra Leone during an 11-year civil war which cost some 50,000 lives until 2002.