Special Court indictee Charles Taylor has admitted in his evidence in chief in The Hague that in August 1991 he provided some arms and ammunition to former war lord of Sierra Leone Foday Sankoh.
Led in evidence by his defence counsel, Courtenay Griffiths, Taylor said that at that time Foday Sankoh was the leader of the movement in Sierra Leone and therefore demanded respect.
He said that after Sankoh had explained to him about his ordeal in the army and how he was trained in Britain in communication, he [Sankoh]told Taylor that they should come together to fight the common enemy which were the ULIMO that were fighting along side the Sierra Leone Army.
He said that there times he could give him ammunition, but it was in a little quantity and Sankoh wanted more but he could not give more than what he can offer as he was fighting his own battle and that he had nothing coming from outside.
The witness said that he had not arms coming from Burkina Faso or Libya all the arms he had are those he captured.
Taylor said that from the impression he got Sankoh was not happy and due to this Sankoh wrote him a letter which the prosecution tended as an exhibit.
He told the court that sometimes Foday Sankoh went and spoke to him about the operations that were going on around the borders and how some of the men he [Taylor] had send as security at the boarders were misbehaving.
Charles Taylor said that he could investigate this and that he will send some senior generals to go and investigate the matter and also to see what could be done to stop them from misbehaving. Some of the issue Sankoh complained about included that he was not respected as leader, and that Sierra Leonean have been raped.
Taylor also told the court that before his men could reach at the borders the RUF had taken matters in their own hands and there was major combat between the RUF and the men he [Taylor] had send to protect their side of the border.
Because of this incident the witness went on he and withdraw his men from the borders.
By Betty Milton