We Were Hired To Remove Taylor – Conneh
One of the erstwhile Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) most notorious perpetrators, Sekou Damatee Conneh has confessed being supported by the international community to waged war.
The 52-year-old leader of the defunct Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) admitted for the first time, but denied killing of innocent people here.
Former Rebel Leader Conneh made the disclosure Wednesday when he spoke to a local radio station (Love FM) in Monrovia less than 24 hours after the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone sentenced former Liberian President Charles Taylor to 50 years imprisonment.
He did not only deny the massacres committed by his rebel LURD forces from 1999 to 2003, but failed to name those countries which, he said, supported LURD either with materials (weapons) and finances.
Neighboring Guinea was used as the launching ground on 20 April 1999 by the insurgents against the regime of former President Taylor elected in 1007.
“We were hired by the international community who wanted Taylor out and it was the mission we carried out for that matter,” revealed Conneh. He has, at the same time, rejected any future international tribunal here on ground that he and his forces did not commit atrocities during their rebellion.
“War is war; everybody here participated-whether you buy bullet or not. Furthermore, LURD fighters were all Liberians and not mercenaries who did not kill anybody,” He claimed.
LURD was essentially the reorganized group of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO) of Alhaji Kromah faction (ULIMO-K). According to Kromah, now Ambassador-At-Large in the new Ellen Sirleaf administration, ULIMO’s goal was the ‘removal of Taylor’ from power.
Conneh may have been appointed Chairman of LURD, mainly because of his high-level contacts with the Guinean government at the time during the regime of the late General Lasanah Conte.