image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionAround 250,000 people were killed in Liberia's two civil wars

Alieu Kosiah has been found guilty of war crimes in a Swiss court, becoming the first Liberian to be convicted in connection with Liberia's civil war.

He was sentenced to 20 years for crimes including murder and rape.

Around 250,000 people were killed in Liberia's civil wars, and many thousands more fled.

Switzerland recognises the principle of universal justice, meaning suspects accused of high-profile crimes elsewhere can be tried in its courts.

The trial was the first under a 2011 Swiss law that allows prosecution for war crimes committed anywhere in the world. It also marked the first time war crimes charges have been heard by a Swiss civilian court.

Kosiah, 46, was a former rebel commander, who fled to Switzerland before being arrested there in 2014.

The 20-year sentence includes the six years he has already served in detention.

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He was detained after a civil rights group presented the Swiss attorney general with evidence of his involvement in war crimes, including the deliberate killing of civilians, sexual violence, abuse of corpses and acts of cannibalism.

The crimes took place while he was fighting with Alhaji Kromah's United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy rebel group against Charles Taylor's troops in the remote Lofa County in the 1990s.

Liberia endured two bouts of brutal fighting from 1989 to 1997, after which Taylor became president, and 1999 to 2003.

Before Kosiah's guilty verdict, no Liberian had ever been convicted of crimes committed during the conflict. Taylor was, however, convicted in 2012 of committing war crimes in neighbouring Sierra Leone.

He is serving his 50-year sentence in a prison in the UK.

His son "Chuckie" Taylor was sentenced to 97 years in prison in a US federal court in 2009 for torturing and killing people while he was the head of Liberia's anti-terrorist services.

Ex-warlord Mohammed "Jungle Jabbah" Jabateh has been jailed for 30 years in the US for lying about his past as a leader of a force that carried out multiple murders and acts of cannibalism.

And Sierra Leonean Gibril Ealoghima Massaquoi is currently on trial in Finland for alleged crimes committed in Liberia.