Minister for Foreign Affairs welcomes transfer of Mr Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia, to Special Court for Sierra Leone
Mr Dermot Ahern, T.D., Minister for Foreign Affairs said:
“I welcome the news that Mr Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia, is being repatriated today by air from Nigeria to Monrovia, Liberia on the instructions of President Obasanjo. On arrival in Monrovia he will be immediately detained by UNMIL, the UN peacekeeping operation in Liberia, and transferred by helicopter to Freetown, Sierra Leone for prosecution before the Special Court for Sierra Leone. I understand that Irish members of the UNMIL Quick Reaction Force will provide an air escort for Mr Taylor from Liberia to Sierra Leone and I am proud of this further important contribution by our Defence Forces on UN duty.
“Ireland supports both the Special Court in Sierra Leone and the UNMIL mission in Liberia. Today's developments open the way for Mr Taylor to stand trial for war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international human rights law with which he has been charged by the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
“I would like to congratulate President Ellen Johnston- Sirleaf of Liberia for her decision to seek the extradition of Mr Taylor from Nigeria to Liberia and to transfer him to the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The successful extradition of Mr Taylor is a significant achievement early in her Presidency. It will be important for the future stability of Liberia. This transfer is a sign of new spirit of cooperation between Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, which will help to foster peace and security in West Africa. I have requested Minister of State Conor Lenihan T.D, who is in the region to explore the scope for Irish assistance in its reconstruction and development, to convey this message to President Sirleaf on behalf of the Government when they meet in Monrovia, tomorrow, 30 March 2006.”
29th March 2006