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Taylor Disappears From Exile Mansion
03-28-2006, 11:00 AM
Post: #1
Taylor Disappears From Exile Mansion
Wow, okay. So Nigeria allowed Charles Taylor to escape after being kinda lax in their "come and get him" stance after Liberia requested that they hand him over...

things are getting real questionable...

-bk

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Taylor Disappears From Exile Mansion

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
NEWS
March 28, 2006
Posted to the web March 28, 2006
Abuja

Former Liberian president Charles Taylor, wanted for war crimes in Sierra Leone, has disappeared from his luxury mansion in exile in Nigeria, said the Nigerian presidency on Tuesday.

Taylor's disappearance comes days after the Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo said that Liberia was "free to take" Taylor, who is wanted on 17 indictments of war crimes by a UN-backed Special Court in Sierra Leone.

The Nigerian presidency said on Tuesday that they were investigating the "disappearance on Monday night ... of Mr. Charles Taylor, former Liberian president, from his residence in Calabar."

The Nigerian government have established a five member panel to investigate Taylor's disappearance. It will begin work on Thursday and has two weeks to submit its report, said Ufoti Ekaette, secretary to the Nigerian government that signed the statement.

Charles Taylor stepped down from the Liberian presidency in August 2003 to make way for a peace deal that brought 14 years of on-off civil war to an end. Since then he has been living in a seafront mansion in the southern Nigerian town of Calabar.

According to Nigerian government sources, Taylor was at home on Friday when he was counted by census enumerators. But suspicions are high that Taylor, who launched a 1989 guerrilla war in Liberia putting child soldiers on the front line, could have escaped by sea. Taylor is thought to have amassed a tremendous personal wealth during his years in office.

Earlier this month while visiting the United States - the country that applied the most pressure for Taylor to step down from office in 2003 - newly elected Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf formally requested Nigeria hand Taylor over.

Human rights groups and UN Special Court officials had urged Nigeria to tighten up security at the Calabar mansion amid fears that Taylor would use a delay in working out the logistics of his handover to make good his escape.

On Monday, the US said that it was Nigeria's responsibility to see that Taylor was handed over to the Special Court. But hours later Nigerian authorities discovered Taylor was missing.

Human Rights Watch's West Africa representative told IRIN that Nigeria would be judged harshly for allowing Taylor to slip the noose.

"This brings into question Nigeria's commitment not only to stability in Liberia but more importantly to the establishment of law and justice in Africa," said Dufka.

"History will judge Nigeria very harshly for this."

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]

Copyright © 2006 UN Integrated Regional Information Networks. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).
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