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Conviction of Liberia’s ex-strongman Charles Taylor is move against rape

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Conviction of Liberia’s ex-strongman Charles Taylor is move against rape….
By Francesca Bessey

Special to USAfricaonline.com,  the USAfrica-powered e-groups of  Nigeria360IgboEventsUNNalumni,  and CLASSmagazine Houston. Follow us at Facebook.com/USAfricaChido and Twitter.com/Chido247

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Special to USAfricaonline.com and CLASSmagazine Houston

Convicted late May 2012 for supporting a rebel movement responsible for hundreds of thousands of brutal atrocities in Sierra Leone, Charles Taylor received his sentencing last Wednesday. The ex-Liberian president was

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sentenced to 50 years in prison for his involvement in the Sierra Leone conflict, which spanned a decade and left over 50,000 dead when it finally concluded in 2002.

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Given that Taylor is in his sixties, a sentence of this length effectively guarantees he will die in prison. It seems that this sentence concludes a rare episode of good fortune, which began with his conviction: justice has been served for heinous crimes against humanity.
The prosecution, however, would have been happier to see an 80-year sentence. While, again, Taylor’s age leaves little practical difference between the two, prosecutors found the symbolic difference enormous.

Prosecutor Brenda Hollis, in an appeal for the longer sentence, detailed the gruesome crimes to which Taylor is supposed to have led his support. She wrote:
“The purposely cruel and savage crimes committed included public executions and amputations of civilians, the display of decapitated heads at checkpoints, the killing and public disembowelment of a civilian whose intestines were then stretched across the road to make a check point, public rapes of women and girls, and people burned alive in their homes.”

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However, while judges did rule that Taylor armed and supplied the rebels in full knowledge that they would likely use the weapons to commit terrible crimes, they determined that an 80-year sentence would be excessive because Taylor had been convicted only of aiding, not of committing, these crimes.

Despite the disappointment of the prosecutors, Taylor’s sentence is thankfully not lenient, by any means. And it still carries a significant symbolic weight. It sends a message to both perpetrators of crimes against humanity and their victims that the world will not completely ignore atrocities.

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It reminds perpetrators that a decade of inaction does not mean they are in the clear: justice will still be pursued by those who care enough to see it carried out. And it promises a genuine punishment for these perpetrators: the complete surrender of a life to a prison sentence rather than a slap-on-the-wrist reprimand like a shorter prison stay or the stripping of titles or privileges.

Taylor’s conviction was a victory for supporters of human rights worldwide, and his sentencing was another step on the path toward developing a more conscientious international community. If the investigative and judicial resources employed in the Taylor case can be both increased and reproduced on a global scale, then perhaps we can see justice served for the many other humanitarian crises we have seen in the past two decades.
Because Sierra Leone is unfortunately just the tip of the iceberg.

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USAfrica: As Egypt’s corrupter-in-chief Mubarak slides into history’s dustbin.  By Chido Nwangwuhttps://usafricaonline.com/2011/01/30/chido-nwangwu-as-egypt-corrupter-in-chief-mubarak-slides-into-historys-dustbin-egyptians-not-waiting-for-obama-and-united-nations/

Obama’s Africa agenda, our business and democracy. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfricaonline.com and CLASS magazine and The Black Business Journal

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Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com and the Nigeria360 e-group. https://usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/ : IF any of the Nigerian President’s 100 advisers has the polite courage for the extraordinary task of reminding His Excellency of his foremost, sworn, constitutional obligation to the national interest about security and safety of Nigerians and all who sojourn in Nigeria, please whisper clearly to Mr. President that I said, respectfully: Nigerians, at home and abroad, are still concerned and afraid for living in what I call Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. FULL text of commentary at USAfricaonline.com https://usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/

Jonathan’s Boko Haram problem and firing of Ringim. By Chido Nwangwu
https://usafricaonline.com/2012/01/25/jonathans-boko-haram-problem-and-firing-of-ringim-by-chido-nwangwu/

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Related insight: USAfrica’s October 17, 2001 special report/alert: Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. By USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwuhttps://usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=USAfrica+Chido+Nwangwu+al-qaeda+terrrorism+nigeria&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

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https://usafricaonline.com/tag/al-qaeda/

Related and prior reporting on the Jos crises on USAfrica, click here: https://usafricaonline.com/2011/08/16/10-killed-in-renewed-violence-near-jos/

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News archives related to Jos, here https://usafricaonline.com/?s=jos

310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com  on  July 28, 2009. www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html

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http://www.groundreport.com/World/310-killed-by-Nigerias-talibans-in-Bauchi-Yobe-n-M/2904584

Trump looks foolish and crazy screaming about Obama’s birth certificates, college records and Muslim connection. By Raynard Jackson

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310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com  on  July 28, 2009.

www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html

Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com https://usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html

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VIDEO of the CNN International broadcast/profile of USAfrica and CLASSmagazine Publisher Chido Nwangwuhttp://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn

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USAfrica: As Egypt’s corrupter-in-chief Mubarak slides into history’s dustbin.  By Chido Nwangwuhttps://usafricaonline.com/2011/01/30/chido-nwangwu-as-egypt-corrupter-in-chief-mubarak-slides-into-historys-dustbin-egyptians-not-waiting-for-obama-and-united-nations/

Tunisia, Egypt . . . Is Nigeria next? By Prof. Rosaire Ifedi           https://usafricaonline.com/2011/02/13/tunisia-egypt-is-nigeria-next-by-prof-rosaire-ifedi/

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In the light of an icon, my mentor Stanley Macebuh (1942-2010)By Chido Nwangwu  https://usafricaonline.com/2011/03/07/stanley-macebuh-tribute-by-chido-nwangwu/ 

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USAfricaLIVE
#BreakingNews and special reports unit of USAfrica multimedia networks, USAfricaonline.com and USAfricaTV

Egypt’s puzzling predicament — a presidential trilemma. By Adel Iskandar

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