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UN concerned over reported disappearance of Taylor

Annan, Security Council ‘concerned’ over reported disappearance of Taylor

Echoing the Security Council’s concern over the reported disappearance from Nigeria of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who was indicted by a United Nations-backed court in Sierra Leone for war crimes, Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for all countries in the region to refuse him refuge.

In a statement released this evening by his spokesman, Mr. Annan also called on those countries “to execute the warrant for his arrest issued by the Special Court and comply with the request of the elected President of Liberia, H.E. Ms Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that he be handed over to her Government, which will in turn transfer him to the Special Court.”

Speaking to reporters earlier in the day, the March President of the Security Council, César Mayoral of Argentina, said that the Council was trying to find out more about the situation and would have a briefing tomorrow to try and get further details.

“Today the members of the Council expressed concern about the news of the disappearance of the former President of Liberia, Charles Taylor. We agreed to have a briefing tomorrow…about more information about the disappearance,” he said following closed-door consultations of the 15-member body.

Earlier this month during her visit to UN Headquarters, President Johnson Sirleaf told the Council that she had asked Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo to consult with colleagues in the sub-region and the international community to help resolve the issue.

Mr. Taylor, who was indicted by the Sierra Leone court on charges related to his support for rebels in that country, was exiled to Nigeria as part of a peace deal three years ago that helped bring an end to Liberia’s decade of civil war, which killed some 200,000 people.

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