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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 August, 2003, 17:45 GMT 18:45 UK
Nigeria defends Taylor exile
Charles Taylor at the resignation ceremony
Will Taylor be able to travel outside Calabar?
The governor of Cross River state in south-eastern Nigeria has been defending the decision to give refuge to the former Liberian leader.

In a press briefing in Calabar, Charles Taylor's new home, Governor Donald Duke stressed that the decision to invite him did not come from Cross River but from the federal government..

He said that even the federal government did not reach that decision on its own, but in conjunction with the United Nations, the African Union, the United States and the West African regional body, Ecowas.

But the BBC's Elizabeth Blunt says that the decision to invite him to Nigeria has not gone down well with the public.

Replying to questions about the ground rules covering Mr Taylor's asylum, the governor said that he was not in custody: he was free to come and go, even to give interviews if he wished.

But it is less clear if the former president is able to travel outside Calabar and its immediate environs.


He is unlikely though to leave Nigeria, since only there, for the moment is he safe from prosecution by the Sierra Leone war crimes tribunal.

Mr Taylor - blamed for years of bloodshed - arrived in the south-eastern Nigerian city of Calabar in Cross River state early on Tuesday morning, accompanied by his family and a small group of his followers.

He arrived from Abuja airport at the end of a long day which saw the former warlord hand over power to his vice president, Moses Blah.

Mr Taylor, his wife and children went first to the residence of the Cross River state governor for supper before they finally saw the house where they are going to live.

It is a substantial grey-painted villa on a hilltop overlooking the Cross River estuary.

The BBC's Barnaby Phillips
"Time has run out for the warlord turned president"


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