Name of leader         Charles Taylor

 

Birth Name                      Charles McArthur Ghankay Taylor

Organization                   National Patriotic Front for Liberia (NPFL)

 

Conflict country             Liberia

 

Gender                             Male   

    

Year of birth                    1948 [1]

 

Place of birth                  Liberia

Year of death                  N/A

 

 

Deceased

 

No; he is not dead.

 

Birth order

 

His birth order is unknown.

 

Age at start of rebel leadership

 

He began the NPFL in 1989, so he would have been age 41.

 

Leader entry method

 

He created the NPFL in 1989 while he was in Libya.[2]

 

Powersharing

 

No, there is no evidence of powersharing.

 

Education (also name universities attended, if any); note any relevant experiences while a student

 

He received a degree in economics from Bentley College in Massachusetts in 1977.[3]        

 

Ever married? If yes, age of first marriage

 

Yes, he was married to Enid Toupee Taylor in the US, but at what age is unknown.  

 

Children

 

Yes, he has had several children.

 

Religious identification

 

He is Christian.[4]

 

Elite family background

 

Taylor was the son of a judge, a member of the elite in Liberia descended from the freed American slaves who colonized the region in the early 19th century.[5]

 

Political affiliations and intellectual circles; note any relevant social connections made

 

He had assistance from RUF leader Foday Sankoh during First Liberian Civil War. They established an alliance in mid-1989. Campaore also provided assistance.[6] Charles Taylor first encountered the leaders of the RUF at the "World Revolutionary Headquarters" (al-Mathabh al-Thauriya al-Amaniya), a facility run by the Libyan secret services in Benghazi, Libya. Colonel Gaddafi was at the time encouraging a pan-Africanist movement that included the leaderships of various West African revolutionary groups. Taylor had reached Libya by a tortuous route. Having first worked for and then falling out with the Doe government in Liberia, he fled to the United States, pursued by a Liberian arrest warrant for embezzlement. He was taken into custody and held in the Plymouth County House of Correction, Plymouth, Massachusetts, to await extradition, but he escaped and eventually joined a group of Liberian dissidents who had helped Blaise Compaore overthrow Thomas Sankara to become President of Burkina Faso. It was Compaore who introduced Taylor to Gaddafi.[7] He had strong ties to Viktor Bout, an international arms dealer.[8] Sanjivah Ruprah introduced the two in early 1990s allegedly. Blaise Campaore supported Charles Taylor with his rebellion. A 2002 United Nations investigation found that Compaoré played a significant role in arming the RUF and Taylor in violation of a U.N. arms embargo.[9]

 

Physical and mental health

 

No, there is no evidence of poor physical or mental health.

 

Pre-militant leader occupation

 

After school in the US, he became the director of Liberia’s General Services Administration under Pres. Samuel K. Doe, the military leader who had gained power in a bloody coup in 1980.[10]

 

Experience in a state military, and role; any relevant social ties

 

No, there is no evidence of experience in a state military.

 

Experience in a nonstate military, and role; any relevant social ties

 

Yes, Charles Taylor assisted Blaise Campaore with the overthrow of Sankara in Burkina Faso.

 

Combat experience prior to assuming resistance organization leadership?

 

He most likely had combat experience.

 

Held government position prior to assuming leadership?

 

Yes, he held positions under President Samuel Doe.

 

Lived in exile?

 

Yes, he fled Liberia in 1983 after Doe accused him of embezzlement.[11] He also lived in exile following his removal as president of Liberia (after his leader tenure).

 

Study abroad?

 

Yes, he studied in the US.

 

Did the leader receive military training abroad?

 

Yes, he received training in Libya.

 

Did the leader have extensive work experience abroad?

 

Yes, he had extensive work experience abroad.

 

Serve time in prison? Social connections during that time?

 

Yes, he was jailed in the US in 1983. He somehow escaped.[12] He was given a 50-year sentence in 2012.[13] The 2012 imprisonment should not count for coding purposes because he was no longer leader. The organization did not exist anymore.

 

Was there an assassination attempt on the leader by the state?

 

No, there is no evidence of an assassination attempt by the state.

 

Cause of Death?

 

N/A

 

Primary language, and other languages spoken as adult

 

He speaks English.

 

 

 

Image Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/94/President_Charles_Taylor.png

[1] “Charles Taylor | president of Liberia,” Encyclopædia Britannica, accessed February 11, 2017, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Charles-Ghankay-Taylor.

[2] “Charles Taylor | president of Liberia,” Encyclopædia Britannica, accessed February 11, 2017, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Charles-Ghankay-Taylor.

[3] “Charles Taylor | president of Liberia,” Encyclopædia Britannica, accessed February 11, 2017, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Charles-Ghankay-Taylor.

[4] BBC, “Charles Taylor: Preacher, Warlord, President,” BBC Africa (BBC News), September 26, 2013, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-12392062.

[5] “Charles Taylor | president of Liberia,” Encyclopædia Britannica, accessed February 11, 2017, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Charles-Ghankay-Taylor.

[6] “Harvard for Tyrants,” Foreign Policy, March 5, 2011, accessed September 22, 2016, http://foreignpolicy.com/2011/03/05/harvard-for-tyrants/.

[7] Richards, Paul. "Sierra Leone." Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. Ed. Dinah L. Shelton. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. 946-954. World History in Context. Web. 27 Sept. 2016. http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/whic/ReferenceDetailsPage/DocumentToolsPortletWindow?displayGroupName=Reference&p=WHIC%3AUHIC&action=2&catId=&documentId=GALE%7CCX3434600309&zid=03220de8af32aa910e01e0d153937c6e&source=Bookmark&u=pl2982&jsid=d8a3ca026c4125e3374ccacb84970b75

[8] Douglas Farah. Merchant of Death

[9] “Harvard for Tyrants,” Foreign Policy, March 5, 2011

[10] Encyclopædia Britannica (Encyclopædia Britannica, 2016), s.v “Charles Taylor

[11] “Charles Taylor | president of Liberia,” Encyclopædia Britannica, accessed February 11, 2017, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Charles-Ghankay-Taylor.

[12] “Charles Taylor | president of Liberia,” Encyclopædia Britannica, accessed February 11, 2017, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Charles-Ghankay-Taylor.

[13] “Charles Taylor | president of Liberia,” Encyclopædia Britannica, accessed February 11, 2017, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Charles-Ghankay-Taylor.