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Man arrested in London on suspicion of war crimes in Liberia
27 August 2020, 13:01
A 45-year-old man has been arrested in London on suspicion of war crimes relating to civil conflicts in Liberia between 1989 and 2003.
The man was arrested at around 7:20am on Thursday by officers from the Metropolitan Police's War Crimes Team in south-east London.
He was detained on suspicion of war crimes committed in the first and second Liberian civil wars, contrary to Section 51 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001, Scotland Yard said.
The man has been taken into custody at a central London police station.
Officers are now carrying out a search at an address in south-east London and inquiries are ongoing.
The first Liberian civil war began in 1989 when minister Charles Taylor initiated an uprising in an attempt to overthrow the government.
With the support of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) rebel group, Taylor gained control of vast swathes of the country before rising to become one of Africa's most prominent and bloody warlords.
The NPFL has been accused of a wide range of human rights abuses, with the large numbers of deaths during the conflict eventually leading to the UN and the Economic Community of West African States getting involved.
A final peace agreement led to the election of Taylor as President of Liberia in 1997.
However, just two years later, a second civil war broke out in 1999, with Taylor eventually being forced into exile in 2003.
He was later jailed for committing war crimes in neighbouring Sierra Leone.