Mandingo population say they are being targeted in war crimes trials and stigmatized anew

The recent conviction of former Ulimo commander Alieu Kosiah in Switzerland brought celebrations in many parts of Liberia. Kosiah was the first Liberian to face trial for war crimes committed in Liberia. Many victims felt it was justice at last.

But for some in Liberia’s Mandingo community it sparked anger. The conviction of Kosiah, following the conviction of another Ulimo leader Mohammed Jabbateh in 2017, has some Mandingos saying they are being targeted.

Ulimo was the rebel movement formed to defend Mandingos after atrocities against them by Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front.

As Moses Garzeawu reports, just three of the nine cases brought against combatants by international courts have been Mandingo. But that hasn’t stopped the anger. And nowhere is that felt more strongly than in Barkedu, Lofa County where one of the first massacres of Mandingos took place.