Warning: This gallery contains pictures some readers might find disturbing

The Special Court for Sierra Leone has found Liberian warlord-turned-president Charles Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes during the civil war that wracked the country.

The former Liberian president was tried on 11 counts of war crimes, including charges of murder, rape and sexual slavery, in a trial that has proven long and controversial.

The accusations relate to his alleged role in the brutal civil war in neighbouring Sierra Leone, where Taylor is accused of backing and arming the Revolutionary United Front (RUF)

Charles Taylor: Profile of Liberia's Warlord Turned President

Sierra Leone's civil war led to the death of more than 120,000 people and the displacement of a further two million.

The atrocities committed during the war, including the amputation of civilians, widespread torture, the use of boys as war soldiers and girls as sex slaves, have left the country devastated.

The aftermath of the violent conflict has left a generation of children struggling to cope after being forced into the violent conflict, tortured and sexually abused.

The Sierra Leone Civil War officially took place between 1996 and 2002. Taylor, who served as president of Liberia from 2 August, 1997 until his resignation on 11 August, 2003, was accused of backing and arming the RUF.

The rebel group fought in Sierra Leone from the end of November 1996 - the date on which the Abuja accord peace agreement was signed - until 18 January, 2002, when the civil war was brought to an end.

Although the conflict officially started in 1996, tensions and insurgency had surfaced as early as 1991.

The RUF, which fought to overthrow the government of Sierra Leone, quickly started seizing control of the country's diamond mines.

"Blood diamonds" helped fuelled the conflict as they were used to fund insurgents, with civilians being abducted and forced to work in diamond mines or undergo guerrilla training.

The RUF is also remembered for its "small boys unit". The group abducted and recruited boys as young as eight years old. They drugged and trained the children, often providing them with AK-47 assault rifles and encouraging them to shoot and kill civilians.