Swiss arrest Liberian war crime suspect

Liberia's two civil wars are said to have claimed over 250,000 lives Keystone

A former Liberian rebel commander has been arrested for war crimes allegedly committed during the country’s civil war in the 1990s. He has been living in Switzerland for several years.

This content was published on January 16, 2015 - 16:52 and agencies

According to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, “a criminal investigation regarding war crimes had been launched from August 2014 onwards against a Liberian national living in Switzerland for many years and he is currently in preventive custody”.

He is suspected of committing or ordering his troops to commit atrocities such as the killing of civilians and rape, as well as enslaving and terrorising the population.

The Swiss authorities said the alleged crimes took place between 1993 and 1995,  which corresponds to the first Liberian civil war. The suspect is a former rebel commander of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMA).

The Office declined to provide any further information on the suspect or when he was arrested.

However, the federal prosecutor, Michael Lauber, shared that the matter was brought to the notice of the Swiss authorities through a criminal complaint filed by victims represented by Geneva-based organisation Civitas Maxima. 

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