Nigeria won't negotiate over Taylor's war crimes

The Nigerian government, which has offered asylum to Liberian President Charles Taylor, said on Wednesday it will not negotiate over an international arrest warrant he faces for alleged war crimes.

“No, no, no, that is not for us,” Foreign Minister Olu Adeniji told journalists.

Adeniji was responding to a question on whether Nigeria will negotiate with the United Nations (UN) over Taylor’s indictment by a UN-backed court in neighbouring Sierra Leone for his alleged role in atrocities committed there during a recently-ended civil war.

Taylor’s government has asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to intervene on the matter.

“Liberia contends that the arrest warrant of Charles Taylor violates customary international law and impugns the honour and reputation of the presidency and its sovereignty,” an ICJ statement said on Wednesday.

Adeniji, who met the Liberian leader on Monday in Monrovia, the day that the first west African peacekeeping troops arrived in the country, added that a rumour that Taylor was unwilling to seek asylum in Nigeria was “totally untrue”. - Sapa-AFP

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