Charles Taylor yesterday disclosed that General Thomas Quiwonkpa then Commanding Officer of the Liberian Army and former President of Sierra Leone late General Joseph Saidu Momoh trained rebels outside Freetown and supplied arms and ammunition to them for the overthrow of then Liberian President Samuel K. Doe.
He was continuing his evidence in his defence for the second day at the Special Court hearing at The Hague, The Netherlands. “Samuel Doe, the head of the People’s Redemption Council (PRC) took over power through a coup de-tat and wanted to remain in power “he said. Charles told the court that the people of Liberia wanted a civilian government and a return to democracy and this could only be achieved through General Thomas Quiwonkpa, then commanding officer of the army.
Taylor explained that General Quiwonkpa also wanted a change of power to civilian rule and that because Doe was aware of this he decided to transfer General Quiwonkpa to the PRC office as Secretary General and then put one of his men in the position of Commanding Officer.
As part of the Council was not in support of Doe’s action Taylor went on, they advised General Quiwonkpa to make a move when Doe left the country for the United Kindgom.
Charles Taylor said that General Quiwonkpa refused to involve himself in the move.
The former Liberian President and war lord said that in 1985, General Quiwonkpa traveled to Sierra Leone to plan the invasion of Liberia and overthrow Doe. He added that many people were contacted, including President Elleen Johnson-Sirleaf.
He also told the court that while General Quiwonkpa was in Freetown, General Saidu Momoh, then-president of Sierra Leone, also supplied arms, ammunition and training just outside of Freetown.
Taylor said the invasion was successful to an extent since the radio station was seized and General Krogba made a broadcast.
He stated that there was some misunderstanding and General Quiwonkpa was captured, killed and eaten by the Krahn people.
By Betty Milton and Judy Vue