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Murder Vs Suicide

The following quaint little news item from Reuters demonstrates the very fine line that can exist between murder and suicide.

The Liberian warlord who drank beer while his men hacked up a former dictator alive on camera is now an evangelical preacher and says he will be happy to see old rival Charles Taylor if he joins him in exile in Nigeria.

If all goes to plan, President Taylor will be starting a new life there after stepping down Monday – joining old enemies from the West African country’s most blood-soaked days.

“I hold no grudge against him, so I would be most happy to meet with him again,” said Prince Yormie Johnson, the warlord who ordered President Samuel Doe’s death in 1990.

“After all he is my old boss,” Johnson told Reuters at his home in Lagos at the weekend.

A vicious personal struggle between Taylor and Johnson only months after they jointly started a rebellion against Doe in 1989 epitomized the chaos that would grip Liberia for 14 years.

At the time, Johnson said he broke with Taylor because it was clear that he wanted power for himself and not just to get rid of Doe. A three-way battle for the capital Monrovia left a first layer of scars that have just built up ever since.

Johnson won the prize of Doe after kidnapping him from peacekeepers. He personally supervised Doe’s gruesome death – fighters cut off the president’s ears as the camera rolled.

Now, Johnson is an evangelical Christian preacher who has made up with Doe’s wife and son.

“Unfortunately Doe underwent torture by my men,” Johnson writes in a soon-to-be-published book.

“But what is most important is that Doe committed suicide while in our custody. He banged his head several times against the wall until he died.”

Doesn’t sound like he had much of a choice.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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