Charles Taylor’s exit from Liberia has thwarted any immediate possibility of his arrest by the Special Court in Sierra Leone. Taylor was indicted on June 4 as he attended the opening of peace talks in Ghana. The timing of the indictment surprised many, ending secret talks in Belgium about an exit deal for Taylor and eclipsing the Ghana negotiations.
The indictment was also a catalyst for Liberian rebels to vigorously increase their efforts to overthrow him. It set off a bloody chain of events, with Taylor seeking the lifting of the indictment as the condition for his departure. He failed to achieve this but did accept sanctuary from President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria; he now resides in a hill-top mansion in Calabar.