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Congresswoman Karen Bass

Representing the 37th District of California

Statement in Response to the Guilty Verdict of Former Liberia President, Charles Taylor

April 27, 2012
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights made the following statement in response to the guilty verdict of former Liberia President, Charles Taylor, and the Subcommittee’s hearing on the conflicts in Sudan and South Sudan.

“I welcome the announcement from the Special Court for Sierra Leone, which found the former President of Liberia, Charles Taylor, guilty of crimes against humanity and war. This verdict sends a clear and strong message that tyrants and despots, no matter their position, will be held accountable for mass atrocities and genocide.

Yesterday, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights held a hearing on the escalating crisis between Sudan and South Sudan. The current predicament also raises concern for the continued suffering and violence in the Darfur region.

In written remarks, Ranking Member Bass iterated the following:

There is a tremendous need to ensure that a comprehensive approach to the challenges facing the Sudans, and that includes addressing the continuing suffering in Darfur. The situation in Darfur is far from resolved and we must remember that it is just as tied up in the conflict between north and South Sudan as the South Kordafan and Blue Nile states. Today’s conviction of Charles Taylor and his involvement in extraordinary acts of human cruelty in Sierra Leone sends a strong and unequivocal message: we will hold those who turn a blind eye to human rights and the sanctity of life accountable for their crimes.