Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP. Non-Discrimination | Before Mr. Taylor unleashed the tsunami of rape, murder, torture and dismemberment that would engulf Sierra Leone, killing more than 50,000 people and causing hundreds of … Schneider, Gerald and Margit Bussmann. Kosiah is the first person to be tried for war crimes in a non-military criminal court in Switzerland and is the first Liberian to be put on trial for alleged crimes committed during the first Liberian civil war… Leboeuf, Aline. [iv] The AFL was unable to halt the NPFL, who closed in on the capitol, Monrovia. 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While international actors played many roles over the course of the conflict, in the end, it was a regional decision to broker a peace deal that ended the conflict and its pattern of atrocities. Kosiah was arrested in Switzerland in 2014 and is accused of murder, rape and other crimes. Saturday, March 11, 2017 Liberian Civil War Atrocities Murder Victims in Liberia Civil War MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) - The skeletal remains of 27 people were all that was left of a massacre, one of many in this West African nation's back-to-back civil wars more than a decade ago. Adebajo, Adekeye. Disclaimer | Alieu Kosiah, 45, is accused of murder, rape, recruiting child soldiers and a host of other crimes. Journal of Peace Research 50:5, 6335 – 644. A former Liberian rebel commander has gone on trial in Switzerland over alleged atrocities committed during the country’s long-running civil war. But on 9 September 1990, while embarking on mediation efforts, Doe fell into the hands of Johnson’s INPFL, who tortured and killed him. Military Intervention: Cases in Context for the Twenty-first Century. The hearing, in the tranquil Alpine town of Bellinzona, marks the first time any Liberian has been brought to trial specifically for atrocities in the first of the country’s back-to-back civil wars, from 1989 to 1997. [xxiii], Nigeria played a critical role in creating, funding, and managing ECOMOG, which itself played a crucial role in moderating the violence of the conflict. In this manner, Liberia is anomaly case, akin in our dataset only to China during the civil war period (the partition of India also resulted in two separate new regimes at the end of the atrocities period, but in terms of the central role played by a nonstate actor, China is the more salient parallel). Mr Kosiah is the first Liberian to face trial over war crimes committed during the country's first civil war between 1989 and 1996, according to Human Rights Watch. Introduction | Atrocities | Fatalities | Ending | Coding | Works Cited | Notes. First, his coalition was more diverse than other contenders, who relied on a single ethnic group. Women were raped … Weissman, Fabrice. In May 1991, the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO) formed in Sierra Leone out of ex-AFL soldiers and Krahn refugees in response to attacks by the NPFL-backed RUF. According to witness testimony collected for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 1994 represented another spike in violence (of all forms, not just killing), not as high as the one in 1990, with ULIMO-J, vigilantes, ULIMO-K, ULIMO, and the Liberian Peace Council playing significant roles in the perpetration of violence. Dakar, Senegal: Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa. But a lawyer for Mr Kosiah said his client was not present in the area when the alleged crimes were committed. The … A former Liberian rebel leader has gone on trial in Switzerland over alleged atrocities committed during the country’s long-running civil war. He will also be the first Liberian to face trial over war crimes committed during its first civil war, from 1989 to 1996, the rights group said. A Liberian woman and child sit with all their possessions surrounded by the rocks they have used to designate this space as theirs, at the Samuel K. Doe stadium in the Liberian capital Monrovia Sunday, June 8, 2003. [xxi], The war and related civilian atrocities ended in 1996 through an internationally mediated peace process, premised on an accommodation between Nigeria’s leader, Gen. Sani Abacha, and Charles Taylor. Peace Agreements and Civil Wars in Africa: Insurgent Motivations, State Responses, and Third-party Peacemaking in Liberia, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone. Ellis elucidates why much higher fatality figures are commonly used for the Liberian conflicts, ranging from 300,000 at the highest end, to a more commonly cited 150,000 – 200,000, based on UN figures. Current President George Weah was expected to ensure that there would be trials because he is regarded as not having played a role in the war. For example, Charles Taylor and fellow warlord, Alhaji Kormah, attempted to arrest a third warlord, Roosevelt Johnson, allegedly responsible for the killing of 600 people killed at Carter Camp in June 1993 (in the Firestone Plantation), resulted in fighting in Monrovia. "After the unspeakable things they went through during the war they deserve to be present," one lawyer said. [xvii] Cibelli, Hoover, Krüger, 2009, 24. Krishna Kumar. 2005. A former Liberian warlord, Alieu Kosiah, went on trial in Switzerland on Thursday for war crimes over alleged atrocities during the West Africa country’s civil war. Stephen Ellis provides an exemplary review of the casualty and death estimates of the war in his The Mask of Anarchy[xvi] arguing that the most accurate range is 60,000 – 80,000 people killed from 1989 to 1997. However, he was not one of the most high-profile militia leaders during the conflict. The UK warns chances of a breakthrough are "receding", as it negotiates with the EU over business rules. Amherst, NY: Cambria. A former Liberian rebel commander has gone on trial in Switzerland over alleged atrocities committed during the country's long-running civil war. The Mask of Anarchy: The Destruction of Liberia and the Relgious Dimensions of an African Civil War. Man arrested in London on suspicion of Liberia war crimes, 'Change has arrived’: Why Thailand is in crisis. Video'Change has arrived’: Why Thailand is in crisis, In pictures: Snowy scenes in many parts of UK. Mass atrocities against civilians occurred during the first Liberian civil war (1989 – 1996), fought between pro-government groups (ECOWAS, Armed Force of Liberia, LPC, ULIMO-J) and anti-government groups (NPFL/LDF, ULIMO, INPFL, ULIMO-K, NPFL-CRC). Kosiah is the first Liberian to face trial over alleged war crimes committed during its first civil war, from 1989 to 1996, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). The trial is being held at the Swiss federal court in the southern city of Bellinzona. “Media and Conflict in Sierra Leone: National and International Perspectives of the Civil War.”Global Media Journal 4.1 (2010): 20-27. 2004. The stadium is now home to over 30,000 refugees who have fled fighting in the war-torn West-African nation. He will also be the first Liberian to face trial over war crimes committed during its first civil war, from 1989 to 1996, the rights group said. The trial in Switzerland, which began on Thursday, is the first under a 2011 law that allows prosecution for war crimes committed anywhere in the world. He is the first Liberian to be convic In the Shadow of ‘Just Wars’: Violence, Politics, and Humanitarian Action. 2008. “Sierra Leone: List of extremely violent events perpetrated during the War, 1991-2002,” Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence, published on 5 March 2008, accessed 28 October 2013, . The numbers include both civilians and combatants, and are produced by comparing detailed information about periods of heightened lethality and discrete massacres, with information gathered from various other on the ground sources, and discussed in context of the evolution of the armed conflict. The Liberian civil war was one of Africa's bloodiest. [xx] The discrepancy between the other numbers may be attributed to the inclusion of a wider range of lethal phenomenon beyond killing: starvation, malnutrition and disease as a result of the conflict. A former Liberian rebel commander has gone on trial in Switzerland over alleged atrocities committed during the country’s long-running civil war. Baù, Valentina. "We... asked that Kosiah's hearing be delayed until 2021 so that our clients, the victims, could be present," another lawyer, Romain Wavre, told AFP news agency. Some rebel groups continued to operate and kill civilians up until the end of 1996. Scientists think a chemical in tires may be responsible. The cross-dressing combatants blipped onto the Western press’s radar screen right around the time the Liberian Civil War started on Christmas Eve in 1989. It also marks the first time war crimes charges have been heard by a Swiss civilian court. The civil war claimed the lives of one out of every 17 people in the country, uprooted most of the rest, and destroyed a once-viable economic infrastructure. Terms for Creating and Maintaining Sites, Documenting declines in civilian fatalities, https://hrdag.org/content/liberia/Benetech-TRC-descriptives-final.pdf, http://www.forcedmigration.org/research-resources/expert-guides/liberia/fmo013.pdf, http://web.undp.org/evaluation/documents/thematic/conflict/, http://www.massviolence.org/Sierra-Leone-List-of-extremely-violent-events-perpetrated, Inclusion of all rebel groups involved in the war, Secret deals between Charles Taylor and Nigeria regarding the agreed status of NPFL-ECOMOG relations, Government power sharing amongst all rebel groups, Support for the Accords amongst all backers of all rebel groups, Third party mediation of the agreement by parties that deployed resources in support of the agreement (including funds and assistance from the United States, European Union, various Francophone countries, and all ECOWAS members), Strict and clear sanctions against any violator of the Accords. 1998. “Liberia: railroading peace.” Review of African Political Economy 25:75, 133 – 147. Kaldor, Mary, and James Vincent. Nonetheless, the number of civilian fatalities declined, creating a temporary lull in the war. The trial of Alieu Kosiah is one of just a handful of cases brought before international courts in relation to the West African country's 1989-2003 conflict, which killed nearly a quarter of a million people, often at the hands of child soldiers. As Victor Tanner writes, this effort produced a spike of fighting that pitted Taylor and Kromah against an alliance of ethnic Krahn militias. But dozens of others were recommended for criminal prosecution. Postconflict elections, democratization and international assistance. “Kosiah will be the first Liberian national to be tried for war crimes allegedly committed during the First Liberian Civil War, and he will be the first person to be tried for war crimes in a non-military court in Switzerland.” Mr. Kosiah served as a commander of the ULIMO, and is accused of committing mass atrocities in that role. Accessed January 4, 2017. Weekly quiz: How does George Clooney keep his hair trim? Tanner, Victor. Fueled by a range of interests to back the government, ECOWAS responded with a peacekeeping force (ECOMOG) led by Nigeria, that arrived in Monrovia on 24 August 1990. Alieu Kosiah, 45, is accused of murder, rape, recruiting child soldiers and a host of other crimes. Read about our approach to external linking. No Liberian has ever been convicted of crimes committed during the conflict. Publishedduration2 hours agoimage copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionIt is the first time war crimes charges have been heard by a Swiss civilian courtA former Liberian rebel commander has gone on trial in Switzerland over alleged atrocities committed during the country’s long-running civil war.Alieu Kosiah, 45, is accused of murder, rape, recruiting child soldiers and a host of… [vi] Taylor’s NPFL managed to consolidate the country, except for key areas of Monrovia held by either ECOMOG or INPFL. 1998. “Peace and Elections in Liberia” in ed. Alieu Kosiah, 45, is accused of murder, rape, recruiting child soldiers and a host of other crimes. It is possible to foreground the international role in in ushering in elections that brought Taylor to power, which prompted him to make a strategic shift in the use of violence against civilians. A former Liberian rebel commander has gone on trial in Switzerland over alleged atrocities committed during the country’s long-running civil war. World. Ellis, Stephen. Among the violations reported are forced displacement, killing, assault, abduction, looting, forced labor, property destruction, robbery, torture, arbitrary detention, rape, forced recruitment, sexual abuse, disappearance, sexual slavery, and amputation, among other acts. In 2008, Liberia's post-war truth commission recommended an amnesty for a few people connected to the fighting because they told the truth and expressed remorse when they faced the commission. .css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link{color:inherit;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:focus,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:focus{color:#B80000;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link::after,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited::after{content:'';position:absolute;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;z-index:2;}Man arrested in London on suspicion of Liberia war crimes, Liberian church massacre survivors seek US justice, Time running out as Brexit trade talks restart. As the NPFL progressed into Liberia, their numbers grew as those disaffected by the Doe regime joined the effort to overthrow him. In September 1991, ULIMO invaded Liberia from Sierra Leone, taking partial control of Western Liberia. Doe’s center of gravity was the Krahn ethnic group[i], which also composed the bulk of the country’s military, the Armed Force of Liberia (AFL); over his time in office, other groups came to harbor deep resentments against them. The UN number, however, includes all casualties (including those wounded and killed); however, once mis-cited by the UN Secretary General as reference to people “killed in fighting,” it subsequently became the most commonly cited fatality figure. 2004. "One of the big problems with this case is he had not yet arrived in Lofa at the time," Dimitri Gianoli told Reuters. She denied any wrongdoing. But for 14 years, between 1989 and 2003, a brutal civil war ravaged the nation leading to the death of close to 250,000 people. We further code for multiple victim groups and note that the armed conflict as having reached a stalemate, as it cannot be said that any one force, despite Taylor’s control of much of the country, definitively won the war. The trial of a former Liberian rebel leader arrested in Switzerland for alleged war crimes during Liberia’s first civil war is an important step forward for victims, Human Rights Watch said today. Dorman, Andrew M. 2009. 2003. “FMO Country Guide: Liberia.” Forced Migration Online, June. [xiii] Cibelli, Hoover, Krüger, 2009, 21 – 22. Both sources of numbers are both imperfect: Ellis’ is arrived at by combining data about known massacres and the expert insights into the patterns of the conflict[xviii], and Cibelli, Hoover, and Krüger is based on in-depth analysis of violence included in TRC witness testimony, a subset of the total number of possible violations. While Taylor was widely viewed as responsible for launching the war, his electoral bid, while far from “free and fair” was successful for at least two reasons. Abdullah, Ibrahim. The agreement set the stage for national elections, won by Charles Taylor of the NPFL, who became President of Liberia in May 1997. The vote for Taylor was a vote for peace, following the logic that he represented the most powerful presence in the country and the only one capable of ending the fighting. A former warlord will become the first Liberian to face a war crimes trial over alleged atrocities during the country's 1990s civil war when he goes on trial in Switzerland on Thursday. A former Liberian warlord, Alieu Kosiah, went on trial in Switzerland on Thursday for war crimes over alleged atrocities during the West Africa country’s civil war. The former rebel commander, who fled to Switzerland before being arrested there in 2014, denies the charges. Nonetheless, the Abuja Accords effectively ended the war, and, thereby, its atrocities. The war in Liberia is often described as an anarchic battle of warlords who preyed on the civilian population with armed forces composed of drugged-up, incontrollable, rag-tag soldiers, many of whom were children, themselves victims of the war. Switzerland recognises the principle of universal justice, meaning people suspected of committing high-profile international crimes elsewhere can be tried in its courts. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. Senator Johnson then ‘General Johnson,’ assassinated former President Samuel K. Doe at the Freeport of Monrovia in 1990. [vii], This pause did not hold. 2004. The NPFL refrained from major military operations until the launch of Operation Octopus on October 15, 1992, their second effort to claim Monrovia. [ii] This ethnically-tinged, counter-insurgency conflict was further complicated when, in July 1990, the NPFL splintered as Prince Johnson created a separate Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL). Farnham, England: Ashgate. Mr Kosiah was arrested after a civil rights group presented the Swiss attorney general with evidence of his involvement in war crimes, including the deliberate killing of civilians, sexual violence, abuse of corpses and acts of cannibalism. And some of the warlords are in key positions in government. Across the two civil wars, as noted by detailed analysis of witness accounts in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, “the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) launched by rebel leader Charles Taylor in 1989, is responsible for more than three times the number of reported violations as the next closest perpetrator group, the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD).”[iii] While this is not necessarily the same distribution of murders attributable to groups, it is indicative of overall responsibility for violence. .css-8h1dth-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-8h1dth-Link:hover,.css-8h1dth-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. Ethiopia aid delayed amid ongoing fighting - UN, The hidden story of African-Irish children, 'Covid killed my wife - so I'm testing a new vaccine'. Alie Friday, December 4 2020 In the first phase of the conflict, from the beginning of the fighting through the stabilization of the capital, Monrovia in 1990, an estimated 20 – 25,000 people were killed (Ellis 313). 2009. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers and the International Peace Academy. Salmon have been dying mysteriously on the West Coast for years. A former warlord will become the first Liberian to face a war crimes trial over alleged atrocities during the country's 1990s civil war when he goes on trial in Switzerland on Thursday. Pastor requests compassionate release from federal prison. The crimes allegedly took place while he was fighting with Alhaji Kromah's United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy rebel group against Charles Taylor's troops in the remote Lofa County in the 1990s. He is now a strong and supportive ally of President Weah. Lyons, Terrence. The country's former leader Charles Taylor was, however, convicted in 2012 of committing war crimes in neighbouring Sierra Leone. Why is fishing important in Brexit trade talks? Several coups were attempted against Doe, with large-scale violent contestation of his power beginning on December 24, 1989, with the invasion of 100 insurgents composing of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), led by Charles Taylor. Lahneman, William J. Taylor’s NPFL was composed largely of ethnic Gio and Mano people previously displaced into Côte d’Ivoire, and supported by Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and Burkino Faso’s Blaise Campaore. Bloomington, IN: Indiana UP. London: Hurst & Co. Gberie, Lansana. World. To capture this interpretation, we offer a secondary coding of ‘strategic shift.’. .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}A former Liberian rebel commander has gone on trial in Switzerland over alleged atrocities committed during the country's long-running civil war. A Dirty War in West Africa: The RUF and the Destruction of Sierra Leone. The third phase of the conflict, 1993 – 1997, witnessed the signing of a ceasefire in Cotonou, Benin, which had the perverse effect of accelerating the splintering of rebels groups as individuals vied for positions in the transitional government, including Ulimo which broke down along ethnic lines. While the NPFL was repulsed from Monrovia, they controlled almost the entirety of the country outside the capitol. This has not been taken seriously by successive governments and there is little political will to make this happen. [xiv] Schneider, Gerald and Margit Bussmann 2013. In 1980, Samuel Doe came to power in a coup, setting off a period of contested leadership that ultimately culminated in two civil wars (1989 – 1996; 1999 – 2003). 1999. Doe distributed weapons to the Krahn population, who targeted Gio and Mano peoples, and requested help from the regional organization, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). He’s also accused of wanton, indiscriminate killings and a host of other atrocities during the civil war in Liberia. [xv] Shelly Dick, “FMO Country Guide: Liberia,” . The second source is analysis of testimony gathered for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia, which found evidence of 28,042 murders over the period 1979 – 2003. Major massacres during this first phase of the conflict occurred in Nimba County, the battle for Monrovia, Buchanan, and at Bakedu. The pattern of regional meddling, cross-boundary insurgencies and splintering rebel groups—at one point, there were some 28 different factions–would characterize the conflict throughout. © 2020 BBC. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. Mutwol, Julius. Nonetheless, this number is arrived at by adding best estimates from various periods: 40 – 50,000 killed between 1989 – 1992 and 20 – 30,000 deaths from the period 1993-1997. [xix] We are not able to further disaggregate the data. Fighting between groups often degenerated into attacks against civilians. [ix] The period also saw the rise of several other rebel groups. Available at: . Dressed in a […] Decades Later, Liberian Warlord Faces War Crimes Trial in Switzerland. However, we note that separating violence against civilians from that amongst combatants is difficult in a case like this given widespread recruitment of children, and the often hastily assembled and ill-disciplined armed forces. We code this case as carried out as planned, designating the incursion of a non-state actor (also coded this factor), the NPFL, as the instigation of mass atrocities, an event that aimed to place Charles Taylor at the head of government. The former rebel commander, who fled to Switzerland before being arrested there in 2014, denies the charges. The trial has been postponed several times because of the coronavirus pandemic, and lawyers for the victims have opposed a decision to delay their hearings until next year. [v], Thus was the government able to keep Monrovia from completely falling to rebels, despite the limited areas they controlled. Julius Mutwol speculates that these Accords succeeded where the others had not because:[xxv].