Nigerian President Olesegun Obasanjo met with President Bush in the Oval Office on Wednesday to discuss Darfur and the Sudan. But the big news of the meeting was the arrest of former Liberian President and suspected war criminal Charles Taylor near Nigeria's border with Cameroon. News agencies are reporting that Taylor is in a private plane on his way to Sierra Leone to face a war crimes tribunal for his part in Sierra Leone's brutal civil war.
Here (PDF) is an original 1992 letter from Sierra Leone's rebel leader Foday Sankoh to Charles Taylor, thanking the Liberian warlord for the contribution of weapons and arms to Sierra Leone's rebel movement -- the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). The letter offers additional proof of Charles Taylor's active support of Sierra Leone's rebel movement -- a particularly vicious and savage movement that was notorious for raping and murdering children, conscripting and drugging child soldiers, and cutting off the arms and legs of its still living victims.
A little background on how I came to be in possession of this letter: In 1998, while living in Freetown, a Sierra Leonean friend gave me the letter and asked me if there was anything I could do to publicize its contents. At the time, Taylor steadfastly denied any role in Sierra Leone's rebel war.
The letter would be almost comical and childish if the outcome weren't so depressing. I offer it here in the hope that it will in some small way contribute to bringing butchers and murderers like Charles Taylor to justice.
To see a text version of the Taylor letter, click here.Coley Hudgins is a Washington D.C. based government affairs consultant. He has lived and worked in West Africa, and has traveled extensively throughout Central America and Asia.