The transcripts of the trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia. More…

"Although diamonds are part of our endowed natural resources which have been mismanaged since 1930 when it was discovered, virtually it has not produced development in this country. Even roads leading to the sites are unmotorable. The politicians are only interested in getting the gemstones for their own use and not the State and her people.

The RUF only took Kono in December 1998. From 1930 on to date, what have the diamond done for this nation? Same for gold, bauxite, rutile, fishes, iron ore, crude oil, et cetera, et cetera.

President Kabbah and his cohorts are propagating that the war is a diamond war because he signed contracts with the British to exploit our minerals, which we will not agree to. The people of Sierra Leone this time should be involved in their mining and knowing where the resources go, not only cabinet or parliamentarians of the proportional representative system who are not voted for by the people to these positions.

The resources of Sierra Leone belong to Sierra Leoneans, which RUF is part of. We cannot cry down politicians for mismanagement of our resources and turn around to copy them. We have enough arms captured from government forces, some in store and others on assignment. No need to sell diamonds for arms as alleged."

Now, pausing there again. By 2001, Mr Sesay, what was the position of the RUF, in terms of arms available to them?

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