ICG frets over Liberian war legacy

June 12, 2012 at 12:48 PM

DAKAR, Senegal, June 12 (UPI) -- Remnants of the violent legacy of former Liberian President Charles Taylor remain evident in the country despite improvements, an anti-conflict group said.

Taylor was sentenced in May to 50 years in prison for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity committed by rebel forces in Sierra Leone. He was convicted on 11 counts of war crimes during overlapping civil wars in the 1990s.

The International Crisis Group, in a report published Tuesday from Dakar, said a polarized political system, corruption and a weak security sector continued to plague the country.

Presidential elections in November brought a second term to Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. ICG said she needs to use "her relatively weak mandate" to usher in a climate of reconciliation.

Advocacy group Global Witness, following last month's sentencing of Taylor, took note of the lack of a hybrid war crimes court to examine other atrocities. ICG said Taylor's conviction raises questions about his associates who remain free.

"Some Liberians told Crisis Group they feel uneasy, even unsafe, knowing that those responsible for extreme violence during the civil war remain free," the group stated.

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