NAIROBI, Kenya, June 19 (UPI) -- Human Rights Watch called on the government of Sierra Leone to open a criminal investigation into an associate of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.
At least 50,000 people were killed during Sierra Leone's civil war, which ended in 2002. Taylor was sentenced last year by a U.N. special court to 50 years in prison for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity committed by rebel forces in the country during the conflict.
Human Rights Watch said Taylor's associate, Ibrahim Bah, was seen in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. The rights group said he's suspected of arming rebels during the 11-year civil war.
"Now that Bah has been located in Freetown, Sierra Leone authorities should promptly open a criminal investigation," lead West Africa researcher Corinne Dufka said in a statement from Nairobi.
Bah was the target of a travel ban imposed by the U.N. Security Council in 2004. He was allegedly living in neighboring Burkina Faso, but may have been in Sierra Leone for several years.
Taylor is appealing his 2012 conviction. There have been eight convictions for crimes committed during Sierra Leone's civil war.
"Investigating Bah for possible criminal prosecution would be an important way to build on this progress," Dufka said.