A man has been arrested in London on suspicion of war crimes in Liberia, over offences allegedly committed between 1989 and 2003, Sky news reports. According to Sky news, the 45-year-old was detained by officers from the Metropolitan Police on suspicion of war crimes, contrary to section 51 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001.
He was arrested in southeast London at around 7.20am on Thursday and has been taken into custody at a police station in the centre of the capital city.
Police said the arrest followed an allegation of offences relating to the first and second civil wars in the African nation, between 1989 and 2003.
Officers are searching an address in southeast London and enquiries are ongoing.
Up to a quarter of a million people were killed in the Liberian civil wars, while thousands more were mutilated and raped. The first Liberian civil war raged from 1989 after former President Charles Taylor started an uprising in a bid to topple the government.
Backed by a rebel group, the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), he gained control of large areas of the country and rose to become one of Africa’s most prominent warlords.
The NPFL has been accused of a wide range of human rights abuses and blamed for large numbers of deaths during the conflict, which eventually led to the involvement of the UN and the Economic Community of West African States.
A final peace agreement led to the election of Taylor as president of Liberia in 1997, before a second civil war broke out in 1999 and forced him into exile in 2003.
Taylor is now serving 50 years in a British prison after being found guilty by an international tribunal of crimes against humanity.
His ex-wife, Agnes Reeves Taylor, was charged by British police with torture in 2017, but the case against her was dismissed two years later. A judge said there was a lack of evidence of governmental control at the time of the alleged crimes.