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Liberia president seeks decision from African leaders on Taylor trial

[JURIST] In an effort to bring closure to the contentious issue of the fate of former Liberian President Charles Taylor [PBS profile], Liberia's new president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf [profile] on Tuesday called on African leaders to decide whether to place Taylor in the hands of a UN tribunal to face war crimes charges. On Friday, Liberia formally asked the Nigerian government to transfer Taylor [JURIST report] from Nigeria where he has been living in exile [JURIST report] so that he can face war crimes charges at the Special Court for Sierra Leone [official website]. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo [official profile] is consulting with leaders from the African Union [official website] and the Economic Community of West African States [official website] before deciding precisely how to respond to Liberia's request. Johnson-Sirleaf has cited issues such as Liberia's dismantled infrastructure and total dependence on UN peacekeepers for security that will move towards resolution when the fate of Taylor no longer looms over the country. Reuters has more.

Residents of Sierra Leone, meanwhile, have expressed concern over Taylor's possible transfer to the tribunal where he faces charges [indictment] of crimes against humanity and violations of the Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials] and other international humanitarian laws for supporting the insurgency of rebels in Sierra Leone. Sierra Leoneans are worried that Taylor's presence in the country could stir up fresh violence and undermine peace in the country. Reuters has more.

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