STAR is still off air in Monrovia, financial and managerial difficulties still prenventing the relaunch of the radio station. Yet, the situation in the country remains tense and fragile. In May,Charles Taylor was sentenced to 50 years in jail by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) after being found guilty of “aiding and abetting, as well as planning, some of the most heinous and brutal crimes recorded in human history”.
Judges rejected all mitigating factors. Samoan Judge Richard Lussick, who was presiding over the sentencing, declared that “leadership must be carried out by example by the prosecution of crimes, not the commission of crimes”.
Taylor’s Defence lawyers immediately announced that they would appeal the sentence. If confirmed, the term would be equivalent to a life sentence, Charles Taylor being 64.
Prosecutors had sought an even longer sentence of 80 years.
On top on internal problems, the regional context with Ivory Coast is potentially explosive. As IRIN puts it: "More than a year after the end of the conflict in neighbouring Côte d'Ivoire, the Liberian government has pledged to deal once and for all with longstanding complaints of its nationals being party to military operations and serious human rights violations on the other side of its western border.
Liberia has been praised for its efforts to deal with an influx of over 200,000 Ivoirian refugees, but has also faced accusations of negligence and incompetence for failing to stop a steady flow of battle-hardened fighters into Ivorian territory.
Even with the presence and active support of UNMIL, the Liberian authorities have difficulty policing a porous 700km frontier with Côte d'Ivoire, much of which runs through dense forest. The thinly scattered checkpoints and border controls are outnumbered by dozens of informal crossings.
Cross-border ethno-linguistic ties remain strong, particularly between Ivorian Yacouba and Liberian Gio in Liberia's Nimba County, and Ivoirian Guéré and Liberian Krahn in Grand Gedeh.".
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