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

"On the other hand Koroma has now balanced the equation, and Taylor predicts as a result there will not be any fighting in Freetown. Koroma will demand a place at the bargaining table and will begin pushing for higher stakes for himself. Taylor said, 'I'm not talking about the hostages. I believe they will be released. The hostage taking was a stupid thing, it should never have happened.'

Taylor then turned to the post-hostage release phase of the crisis. He has heard of ECOMOG plans to add another 5,000 troops. All ECOWAS countries would contribute, there would not be a fighting over force composition. ECOMOG has a tradition of creating this kind of force, as seen in Liberia in the last decade. Jackson wondered if Taylor had talked to Obasanjo, as he had been very clear with Jackson, during their May 18 May meeting, about the composition of additional troops to Sierra Leone. Deputy Assistant Secretary Jeter noted the meeting of ECOWAS defence ministers, 17 to 18 May, which recommended either the formation of ECOMOG II, or adding troops to UNAMSIL, but in neither case only if they have a peace enforcement mandate.

Taylor said this would be a vast misuse of forces. 18,000 (13,000 UNAMSIL plus 5,000 ECOMOG) is too large a force. On peace enforcement, Taylor noted: 'It is impossible to forcefully disarm guerillas in the bush. What must be created is an environment where combatants feel it is safe to disarm.'"

Now, did you honestly believe that, Mr Taylor?

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