In 1989, Fungbeh Karmue was in the U.S. on a business trip when the first Civil War (1989-1996) broke out in Liberia. Neyor; Fungbeh’s wife, and their five children were trapped in Liberia for the first year of the war as Fungbeh was not permitted to return to his home. After a two year stay in an Ivory Coast refugee camp, Fungbeh had earned enough money to bring Neyor and their family to the safety of the states where they remained until the end of the second Civil War (1999-2003).
Charles Taylor, the president of Liberia during Liberia’s second Civil War, was found guilty today on 11 counts of aiding and abetting rebel forces in a campaign of terror that involved murder, rape, sexual slavery, conscripting children under the age of 15 and mining diamonds to pay for guns. An estimated 150,000 people died under the Taylor regime, following the 200,000 estimated casualties in the first Civil War under Taylor’s former boss whom Taylor overthrew, President Samuel Doe. Taylor will be sentenced May 30 of this year. There is no death penalty in international criminal law, so he will serve out his sentence in a British prison.
CNN reports that Taylor is the first convicted head of state since the Nuremberg trials in 1946. Hopefully, two others the international court holds accountable for the massacre are also brought to justice:
The International Criminal Court has charged Laurent Gbagbo, the former Ivory Coast president, with crimes against humanity. It also has a warrant out for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who, so far, has been able to elude arrest.
The 44 orphans housed at Christ’s Children’s Home are parent-less because of the Civil Wars and the atrocities promoted and conducted by the Charles Taylor Presidency. This conviction doesn’t give these children their parents back, but maybe they will have a little relief knowing that the monster responsible for the death of their parents will not be permitted to harm anyone else.
For more information on the Karmue’s, the Orphan’s at CCH, and what you can do to help the victim’s or Taylor’s reign, please visit our website: Help A Liberian Orphan.