Fighters of the ULIMO faction, on September 2, 1992, near Monrovia, Liberia © AFP/Archivoe

Former Liberian rebel commander appeals life sentence for war crimes

Former Liberian rebel commander Kunti Kamara will on Tuesday begin his appeal against a life sentence handed down by a Paris court in 2022 for complicity in crimes against humanity.

In this file court-sketch made on October 10, 2022 former regional commander of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO), a rebel group that fought the National Patriotic Front of ex-president Charles Taylor, Kunti Kamara (C) faces charges of crimes against humanity, including torture, at the Paris criminal court, in Paris.

In this file court-sketch made on October 10, 2022 former regional commander of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO), a rebel group that fought the National Patriotic Front of ex-president Charles Taylor, Kunti Kamara (C) faces charges of crimes against humanity, including torture, at the Paris criminal court, in Paris. AFP – BENOIT PEYRUCQ

On 2 November 2022, a French court also convicted Kamara of torture and aggravated acts of barbarism for which the court sentenced him to life in prison.

In 1993 and 1994, in the midst of Liberia’s civil war, Kamara was alleged to have committed multiple acts of violence in and around the town of Foya, in Lofa county in northwestern Liberia.

At the time, Kamara was a regional commander of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO) – a rebel group that fought the National Patriotic Front of ex-president Charles Taylor.

Prosecutors accused him of executing civilians and organising forced marches, describing ULIMO’s control of Lofa county in the 1990s as a “governance by terror”.

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