View Full Version : Liberia: catch all

06-02-2007, 03:45 AM
RAND, May 07: Making Liberia Safe: Transformation of the National Security Sector (http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2007/RAND_MG529.pdf)

The security institutions, forces, and practices of the regime of Charles Taylor, Liberia’s former president, met none of the essential criteria for a sound security sector: coherence, legitimacy, effectiveness, and affordability. They were meant to serve the regime, not the nation, and were controlled and used—rather, misused—by one man, mainly against Liberia’s people and neighbors.

Yet even under new, able, and decent leadership, the old structures and ways are unworkable, wasteful, and confused, and they enjoy neither the trust nor the cooperation of the Liberian people at this critical juncture. It follows that Liberia must make a clean break, adopting a new security architecture, forces, management structure, and law.

The government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has made security sector transformation a high priority, and the United Nations, the United States, and others are helping Liberia build new forces. What has been done and planned so far to transform the Liberian security apparatus is valid and important; this study raises no fundamental questions about the soundness of what is already under way.

At the same time, Liberia and its partners need an overall security architecture, accompanied by a strategy to create it. Without an architecture and strategy, setting priorities will become increasingly difficult; gaps, redundancies, confusion, and political squabbling over forces are likely. In offering an architecture and strategy, this study identifies additional measures, including additional capabilities, that would make Liberia’s security sector more coherent, legitimate, effective, and affordable....

Tom Odom
03-13-2008, 06:38 PM
And again cannibalism resurfaces. The most infamous case in the Congo of the early 1960s involved several Italian airmen who landed at Kindu and stayed as dinner...

Top aide testifies Taylor ordered soldiers to eat victims (http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/03/13/warcrimes.taylor.ap/index.html)

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) -- Grim tales of cannibalism highlighting the brutality of West Africa's civil wars emerged in testimony Thursday at the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, left, sits in the International Criminal Court before testimony in January.

Joseph "Zigzag" Marzah, who described himself as Taylor's chief of operations and head of the death squad before Taylor became president, said African peacekeepers and even United Nations personnel were killed and eaten on the battlefield by Taylor's militiamen.

Prosecutors described Marzah as a key witness with inside knowledge of the former Liberian president's operations in Liberia and neighboring Sierra Leone, where he is accused of responsibility for the widespread murder, rape and amputations committed by soldiers loyal to him.

Taylor, 59, has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He is accused of orchestrating violence in Sierra Leone's civil war, which ended in 2002, and trading in illegally mined diamonds to finance the conflict.

03-15-2008, 01:59 PM
SSI, 14 Mar 08: Security Sector Reform in Liberia: Mixed Results from Humble Beginnings (http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/PUB855.pdf)

....In this monograph, Mr. Mark Malan of Refugees International (http://www.refugeesinternational.org/) finds that the SSR program in Liberia is not governed by an overarching strategic framework, not informed by a wide-ranging and integrating public security concept, and not effectively linked to wider government planning and budgeting processes. He argues that a multi-sectoral, whole-of-government approach to SSR, while conceptually valid, has not been applied in Liberia. He concludes that much more can be done to arrest insecurity in Liberia within a more modest program that focuses primarily on military and criminal justice reform, but that this would require a sustained injection of technical and financial support from the United States. He also calls for the U.S. Government to provide advice and support to the Government of Liberia in the formulation and implementation of a comprehensive national security strategy and policy....
Complete 101 page paper at the link.

09-16-2008, 02:38 AM
USIP, Sep 08: Would You Fight Again?: Understanding Liberian Ex-Combatant Reintegration (http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr211.pdf)


- The potential for renewed fighting is closely linked to poverty and hardship. Liberian ex-combatants most commonly cited reasons for considering a return to combat include poverty and economic disadvantage, followed by a lack of jobs, benefits, or training.

- Unemployment plays a role in the potential return to combat, especially for those who were previously employed. As expected, a greater percentage of unemployed than employed respondents can envision returning to war. However, one population that is significantly more likely to return to combat is ex-combatants who held a job before the war but are now unemployed.

- Problems in gaining acceptance by family and community are also closely linked to willingness to consider fighting again. Respondents who have had difficulty reintegrating into their home communities and who perceive bias against ex-combatants seem more inclined to return to combat.

- Women may be especially prone to fight again to find relief from poverty. There were comparatively few women fighters and, therefore, relatively few women in the sample, but results suggest that women, particularly those without families, might be more likely than men to fight if it becomes financially necessary.

- Tribal tensions still exist and could lead to outbreaks of violence. There are still feelings, especially among members of certain ethnic groups, that ex-combatants from their tribe are not accorded full citizen status by members of other tribes.

01-13-2009, 07:55 PM
ICG, 13 Jan 09: Liberia: Uneven Progress in Security Sector Reform (http://www.crisisgroup.org/library/documents/africa/west_africa/148_liberia___uneven_progress_in_security_sector_r eform.pdf)

Since independence and for fourteen years of war, Liberia’s army, police and other security agencies have mostly been sources of insecurity and misery for a destitute people. The internationally driven attempt to radically reform the security sector since the war’s end in 2003 is a major chance to put this right and prevent new destabilisation. Security sector reform (SSR) programs have been unprecedented in ambition but with mixed results. Army reform, entailing complete disbanding of existing forces, has made significant progress despite lack of proper oversight of private military companies (PMCs) and of consensus on strategic objectives. But police and other security reforms are much less satisfactory. The bold approach to army reform was possible due to strong national consensus and the presence of a large, liberally mandated UN presence. Government and donors must sustain their support to maintain hard-won momentum in army reform and, once clear benchmarks are set, give a floundering police force more resources. The drawdown of the UN force, begun in the second half of 2008, underlines the urgency.....
Complete 45-page report at the link.

Tom Odom
07-19-2009, 08:59 AM
I remember in 1991 or so litening to one of my counterpart analysts tell the DCSINT that Charles Taylor was not long for this world...

Taylor allowed enemy skulls at roadblocks (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31942299/ns/world_news-africa/)
Accused of war crimes, he denies his troops disemboweled rival fighters

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Former Liberian President Charles Taylor told a war crimes court Thursday he saw nothing wrong with displaying the skulls of slain fighters at roadblocks as his rebel forces swept into the country in a 1989 revolution.

The invasion of Liberia and his ascent to power was a prelude to Taylor's involvement in the brutal 1991-2002 civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone, for which he is accused of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

William F. Owen
07-19-2009, 01:51 PM
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor told a war crimes court Thursday he saw nothing wrong with displaying the skulls of slain fighters at roadblocks as his rebel forces swept into the country in a 1989 revolution.
In 94 I saw babies Skulls wired to the front of SLA trucks, in Freetown. A soldier who spoke remarkable English, told me, "Do not worry. We did not kill them. They were dead when we found them!"

...well that's OK then...... Not everyone has the same rule book, but I think there are clearly somethings that defy good taste and judgement.

Colin Robinson
11-01-2009, 11:19 PM
Anyone looking for further material on the subject is invited to contact me. Following a UN tour (unfortunately not focusing on SSR), am working on my PhD on army reconstruction post-conflict, main case study: rebuilding the AFL in Liberia. Returned from fieldwork mid this year and am in contact with several current and past key players.

04-26-2012, 06:50 PM
HT to John Bellinger at Lawfare, Charles Taylor Convicted of Eleven Counts of War Crimes (http://www.lawfareblog.com/2012/04/charles-taylor-convicted-of-eleven-counts-of-war-crimes/) (26 Apr 2012):

Taylor was convicted on the following counts: Count 1 for acts of terrorism (a war crime), on Count 2 for murder (a crime against humanity), on Count 3 for murder (a war crime), on Count 4 for rape (a crime against humanity), on Count 5 for sexual slavery (a crime against humanity), on Count 6 for outrages upon personal dignity (a war crime), on Count 7 for cruel treatment (a war crime), on Count 8 for inhumane acts, including mutilations and amputations, (a crime against humanity), on Count 9 for the recruitment, enlistment and use of child soldiers, on Count 10 for enslavement (a crime against humanity), and on Count 11 for pillage (a war crime).

SCSL Factsheet (http://www.sc-sl.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=by3HPDDiFTM%3d&tabid=53) and Summary of Judgment (http://www.sc-sl.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=86r0nQUtK08%3d&tabid=53).

This one is "Chuckie Sr". His son was convicted several years ago by a Federal District Court jury in Miami, as reported in this post, Charles "Chuckie" Taylor Jr convicted in Miami (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=59370&postcount=126).