Political crimes

Charles Taylor
1st African Head of State
on War Crimes Tribunal

'Diamonds For Arms'
  • Liberia stokes African gem war
    Charles Taylor, president of Liberia, is stoking the civil war in neighbouring Sierra Leone because he benefits from its illicit diamond trade, western intelligence officials say.

    Mr Taylor is the power behind the rebel Revolutionary United Front which controls most of Sierra Leone's diamond producing areas and has used the proceeds from gem sales to buy arms, according to assessments in London and Washington.

    FT, July 10, 2000
  • The deadly scramble for diamonds in Africa
    Trade in "conflict diamonds" has flourished because the tiny gems are portable, easily concealed and a guaranteed source of cash. But it is also a post-cold war phenomenon in which arms traffickers, corrupt governments and local warlords thrive in the vacuum left by the absence of superpower rivalry.

    They are part of a global network extending from the desert air strips of the United Arab Emirates to the armaments factories of Bulgaria and Ukraine; from the presidential palaces of Liberia, Burkina Faso and Togo to the offices of diamond dealers in Antwerp, Bombay, Monrovia, Johannesburg and Tel Aviv.

    FT, July 10, 2000

Charles Taylor
Accusations and Allegations