Liberia. According to
countryaah, an invasion of larvae caused so much damage to
crops in mainly the northern part of the country that the
government announced a state of emergency in the affected
areas and appealed to the outside world for help. The larvae
also spread to neighboring Guinea and threatened Sierra
Leone. The larva invasion also received a political backlash
when the Minister of Agriculture resigned following
criticism for too slow efforts.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which since 2006
has been working to investigate abuses during the conflicts
in Liberia between 1989 and 2003, presented its final report
in July. There was a great stir and criticism around the
world that the Commission recommended that President Ellen
Johnson Sirleaf be banned from public office for 30 years.
The Commission justified this by having previously supported
the warlord and subsequently President Charles Taylor and
raised money for him. She acknowledged that she had assisted
him during his preparations in the 1980s to oust military
dictator Samuel Doe but denied closer contact. Her refusal
to resign was widely supported in the outside world, which
in Johnson Sirleaf sees Liberia's only chance of recovery.
Eight former warlords, who, according to the Commission,
should face trial for crimes against humanity, asked for
forgiveness but rejected charges that, in their view,
violated the peace agreement's basic idea of
reconciliation. The outlook for the Commission's
recommendations to be obeyed is small, as many of those who
have been appointed are now members of Parliament, in which
case decisions must be taken.
In The Hague, the Netherlands, the trial of Charles
Taylor continued before the Special Court of Sierra Leone.
The prosecutor's side completed its case, and in July the
defense began its work. In the United States, Taylor's son
Charles, also known as Chuckie, was sentenced to 97 years in
prison for torture and summary executions in Liberia, where
he was the head of a security service during his father's
term in 1997-2003.