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

Yes, what I have tried to present is the indications that we obtained in the process of our research of the Liberian involvement, or the involvement of Liberians we should say, in various different episodes of the Sierra Leonean armed conflict. The first part of the report addresses or is derived from interviews I conducted in the course of my research with the - the research on the phenomena of mercenary activity in West Africa. It is based on a few interviews I conducted with former combatants who had knowledge of the very early involvement of Liberians in the armed conflict in Sierra Leone, primarily in Kailahun District. Those combatants, there are two which I mention in my report, one - both of whom were civilians at that time and later became combatants with one of the - with the RUF.

The first one was from the village of Bomaru, the venue of the first attack by the RUF in Sierra Leone on 23 March 1991, and he details, or his testimony is notable for the - with respect to the high percentage of Liberians among the attackers. He notes that there were about 20 Liberians and only three Sierra Leoneans involved in that attack.

The second combatant I interviewed then also gives some indication of that same attack, or of that same time period, and also notes the very high involvement and later how the involvement of Liberians decreased due to a few factors. One of them was that the RUF had embarked on a - or the RUF, involving Liberians and Sierra Leoneans, embarked on a very aggressive recruitment campaign, which then swelled the ranks of the RUF much fuller with Sierra Leoneans, as well as incidents involving acrimony that developed between the sierra Leonean components of the RUF and the Liberian components. That revolved around the very frequent, as they described, attacks by - on the Sierra Leonean population by Liberian combatants, who then tried to and managed to expel a good number of them from Sierra Leone.

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