A UN-backed Sierra Leone court convicted former Liberian president Charles Taylor of war crimes on Thursday, the first African head of state to be found guilty by an international tribunal.
Taylor, 64, was charged with murder, rape, conscripting child soldiers and sexual slavery during intertwined wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, in which more than 50 000 people were killed. The court found him guilty of only some of the charges.
Charles Taylor's reign as Liberian president was characterised by tyranny. He was eventually chased out of Liberia and was granted asylum by the Nigerian government. The highpoint of his stay in Nigeria was his attempt to escape from the country in order to evade UN-backed arrest, but his plan was foiled.