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US presses for arrest of exiled former Liberian president

[JURIST] The US has circulated a draft UN resolution calling for the UN's peacekeeping force in Liberia [JURIST news archive] to arrest former Liberian president Charles Taylor [PBS profile] if he tries to return from his exile in Nigeria. The resolution would extend the mandate of the 15,000 member peacekeeping force to apprehend Taylor without additional approval and transfer him to Sierra Leone for prosecution. Taylor was indicted [text] by the Special Tribunal for Sierra Leone [official website; JURIST news archive] in 2003 for supporting the insurgency of rebels in Sierra Leone, but was granted asylum in Nigeria, which has refused to hand him over for prosecution [JURIST report]. UN Security Council [official website] experts meet Tuesday to discuss the draft resolution, which expresses appreciation to Nigeria and its President "for their contributions to restoring stability in the West African sub-region," but, emphasizing that Taylor's return to Liberia "would constitute an impediment to stability and a threat to the peace of Liberia and that of the sub-region," calls for the extension of the UN mandate so that Taylor can be transferred directly to Sierra Leone. AP has more.

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