International

Ethical foreign policy in practice

The BBC reports

The British government has agreed that former Liberian leader Charles Taylor could serve a prison sentence in the UK, if he is convicted of war crimes.

This paves the way for his trial to start in The Hague, after other European countries refused to host him.

A UN-backed tribunal in Sierra Leone, where he is in prison, wants the trial to be moved due to security fears.

Mr Taylor faces 11 war crimes charges after allegedly backing rebels in the decade-long Sierra Leone civil war.

In the absence of a fully functioning International Criminal Court, and in the face of much shilly-shallying by the African Union over the trial of another former dictator implicated in human rights abuses : Hissene Habre of Chad – it is undoubtedly a good thing that make-do mechanisms for bringing heads of states implicated in war crimes are being brought about.

The establishment of proper means for bringing Taylor to trial, and for him to serve out any eventual custodial sentence is the least that those who suffered at the hands of rebel groups supported by him in Sierra Leone should expect from the international community.

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