Charles Taylor Guilty Of War Crimes
Former Liberian leader Charles Taylor has been found guilty of war crimes by an international court. This is the first such conviction since the trials following World War 2.
The conviction stems from his involvement in a civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone, a war in which as many as 50 thousand people died and many more were injured and abused. The trial, which took place in the Netherlands, began in 2007 and was given international support from authorites at the UN, in Sierra Leone and from human rights groups.
One of the key issues of the trial was the sale of blood diamonds, and many of those who died spent their last days in concentration camp like surroundings while being forced to work the diamond mines of Sierra Leone.
Amoung those most influenced by the verdict were former child soldiers forced to serve in the military of Sierra Leone.
The reaction in Liberia where Taylor remains relatively popular was not as enthusiastic.