Born in 1946 in Liberia, Jucontee Thomas Smith Woewiyu is a former co-founder and one of the leaders of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL).
The NPFL was a military organization directed by Charles Taylor which aimed at seizing power and ousting the then president Samuel Doe. On 24 December 1989, the NPFL invaded Liberia. In April 1990, 90% of the country was under control of the NPFL.
Woewiyu was a spokesperson and negotiator of the NPFL. He was also a minister of defence in 1990 under the regime of Charles Taylor. Because of the divergence of opinions on the ideology of the party, he left Taylor’s party in 1994 and created his own political party – the NPFL – CRC (National Patriotic Front of Liberia – Central Revolutionary Council). He returned subsequently back to NPFL and became minister of labour under Taylor between 1997 and 1999.
The NPFL was accused of participating in a number of international crimes, especially those of sexual slavery, exterminations or recruitment of child soldiers. Woewiyu was implicated in planning of attacks against civilians, in particular in 1992 during the operation Octopus. This operation consisted of conquering Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, and resulted in death of thousands of civilians and fighters.
Since January 1972 Woewiyu has legal permanent residence in the United States of America. He applied for the United States citizenship in January 2006.