LAGOS, Nigeria (March 29, 2006) — Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, facing extradition to his native land from Nigeria to face a war crimes tribunal, has been captured trying to flee into neighboring Cameroon.
Mr. Taylor was arrested at the Nigeria-Cameroon border about 600 miles from Calabar, the southern Nigerian town where he lived in exile. He was then flown to Liberia, where United Nations forces will transfer him to Freetown, Sierra Leone.
The former president faces charges in Sierra Leone that he allegedly instigated the killing, maiming, torture and rape of hundreds of thousands of people during that country's 1991-2001 civil war, when he supported anti-government rebels. Mr. Taylor had been in exile in Nigeria since 2003, when he left Liberia in a negotiated settlement to the civil war that had raged on and off since 1989.
In 1990, Mr. Taylor's troops forced Bridgestone/Firestone executives at gunpoint off the company's 240-square-mile natural rubber plantation near Harbel, Liberia, and held the plantation for the next seven years.