Liberia: war lord 'Jungle Jabbah' jailed for 30 years in USA

Responding to the news that Mohammed Jabateh, a former Liberian war lord known as ‘Jungle Jabbah’ now living in the US, has been sentenced to 30 years for immigration fraud and perjury due to failure to disclose his involvement in human rights abuses during the Liberian civil war, Sabrina Mahtani, Amnesty International’s West Africa Researcher, said:

“While Mohammed Jabateh was not convicted of the crimes he is allegedly responsible for under international law, this is nevertheless the first case to provide some justice for victims of Liberia’s civil war. Such prosecutions send a strong signal that the US does not have to be a safe haven for human rights abusers.

“Whilst this is an important step in addressing allegations of systematic human rights abuses carried out during the civil war, it must not be forgotten that there has still been no accountability for these crimes in Liberia itself. The Liberian authorities must urgently establish a criminal court to try crimes under international law and ensure those responsible are held to account.”

On 22 January this year, Amnesty and several human rights organisations sent an open letter to newly-elected President George Weah calling on him to take steps to finally bring justice and accountability to the countless victims of Liberia’s fourteen-year armed conflict.

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