LONDON 

Police arrested a man in London on suspicion of war crimes during the Liberian civil wars, the Met Police said on Thursday.

The 45-year-old was arrested in southeast London at around 7.20 a.m. local time (0620GMT) on Thursday.

The police war crimes unit made the arrest, holding him for suspicion of offences under Section 51 of the international Criminal Court Act 2001.

They said in a statement: “He has been taken into custody at a central London police station.

“The arrest follows an allegation of offences relating to the first and second Liberian civil wars, between 1989 and 2003.

“Officers are currently searching an address in south-east London.”

Liberia slid into civil war in 1989 when government minister Charles Taylor attempted to unseat the government.

Following a long, brutal civil war where he and the rebel group backing him were accused of widespread human rights abuses, he was elected president of Liberia in 1997 after a peace agreement.

In 1999, civil war broke out again and he went into exile in 2003.

He is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence in Britain for crimes against humanity after being found guilty by an international tribunal.

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