The verdict on Charles Taylor

Guest Post by Mats Utas
Yesterday the Special Court for Sierra Leone found Charles Taylor guilty of aiding the RUF during the Sierra Leonean Civil War. The court case that has taken five years is the last of a court that has previously sentenced 9 Sierra Leonean rebel and military leaders with long prison sentences. Taylor has 14 days to appeal and his sentence should be given on May 30. Not too long ago I was in a Monrovian bar owned by a friend of mine. I complained about a drink where they used American ginger beer instead of making their own “local” version. Local ginger beer is a sweet, nice and affable drink compared to its unpleasant American brother. Nothing comes out of complaining so instead I arranged with the barman that he should buy some ginger and lime and we would meet before opening the following day. So we did and together we made ginger beer and with the skills of the barman created a very tasty drink. We named it CT after Charles Taylor. Charles Taylor was often nicknamed ginger because of his light skin. I hope that costumers ordering a CT do understand that it is an irony – the name was not given to celebrate Charles Taylor, but as a comment on the enigmatic presence of Charles Taylor in Liberia close to ten years after he left the country in 2003.

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