NELSON INSTITUTE DIRECTOR WEIGHS IN ON FORMER LIBERIAN PRESIDENT’S FATE

March 29, 2006

HARRISONBURG—In an opinion editorial published in today’s Baltimore Sun, Dr. J. Peter Pham, director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, weighs in on former Liberian president Charles Taylor’s fate. Taylor was reported as having “disappeared” from the villa where he has been living in exile in Nigeria since he was forced from power in 2003 and then “recaptured” at the border with Cameroon. In his essay, Dr. Pham argues that “quick follow-up is needed to ensure that justice is served” in the case of Taylor, who is “with no less than seventeen counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international humanitarian law” by the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone.

The publication comes in one of the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area’s major newspapers on the morning that Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo is due to see President George W. Bush, a visit that had become overshadowed by Taylor’s apparent getaway (the Nigerian government has responsibility for the deposed Liberian leader’s security and had only recently—and reluctantly—agreed to extradite him).

Dr. Pham’s article can be read online here.