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

When I went to Cote d'Ivoire I was received like a President of my country and I was very happy and he was also happy. He organised a press conference and he spoke first and he said, "You have come here, I welcome you, but please let me speak". Then I said, "You can go ahead to speak". What he said was that something happened in the past which he did not like and I said, "What was it?"

He said, "I will give you a parable" and I said, "What is it, Mr President?" He said, "If your neighbour's house is on fire would you put gasoline on the fire or would you bring water to quench the fire?" And I asked him what that meant. Then he said, "This message and this parable goes to the former President of Liberia, Charles Taylor". He said, "Charles Taylor saw my house on fire and instead of putting the fire off, he added gasoline to the fire and the fire started blazing everywhere in my country". He said, "As I am sitting down here I am sitting in a divided country" and he did not like it. He had his properties looted, Caterpillars in companies. He named so many other things that went on in his country. He said so many people died and he said a lot of things.

In conclusion I said, "Look, I am now President of Liberia. Taylor is gone, he is no longer President, but I want to promise you one thing. As of today nobody - no soldier - will live under my command as commander-in-chief of Liberia will cross into that Cote d'Ivoire with a penknife, I am not talking about guns, to attack your country by any means. I will discourage that. I promise you. I have people in position right now to stop such incursions against you". That was the promise I made and it went on as I promised until I retired as President.

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