Victim Forgives War Criminal, Charles Taylor
Washington Post. In April, the Hague convicted former president of Liberia, Charles Taylor, of war crimes. Samuel Konkofa Koroma, who was directly impacted by a 10-year war in Sierra Leone fueled by Taylor, tells his story of suffering, his rescue from certain death by a former student, and his ultimate decision to forgive.
Finding forgiveness after Charles Taylor
By Samuel Konkofa Koroma,
Samuel Konkofa Koroma has led peace-building projects in Africa for the global humanitarian agency Mercy Corps.
Last month a court in The Hague found former Liberian president Charles Taylor guilty of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in fueling a 10-year, bloody conflict in Sierra Leone. The verdict capped a trial that itself had dragged on for years and had been punctuated by moments of sensationalism, such as Wikileaks revelations and the testimonies of supermodel Naomi Campbell and actress Mia Farrow.
With all of this spectacle, it can be easy to forget what the trial was really about: thousands of people like me, and the forgiveness that makes life bearable.
I’m from Sierra Leone, the country whose conflict Taylor was convicted of helping to finance. My life has taken me to Europe and to Uganda, but I’ve never forgotten my home: an impoverished, remote village.