Liberia: A Backgrounder

Liberia: A Backgrounder

Author: S. Kpanbayeazee Duworko, II

Posted: 24 June, 2003


For nearly twenty-five years, Liberia has hit major news headlines worldwide not for famous actions, but for infamous actions. These actions have not just dampened the country’s image; they have also caused the country to disintegrate rapidly, especially in the last ten years.

For almost five years now, I have been actively involved in peacebuilding work. I have come to realize that much needs to be done if we are to move this country from the cycle of violence to a stable society.

What is of concern is that in spite of the more that twenty peacebuilding or related institutions in Liberia, war continues. The war has been so devastating that people have not been able to rebuild their lives. There are two questions that people are asking. These are (1) “ What impact are all these organizations making in this country?” and (2) What are the roles of these institutions in this country?”

These questions are fundamental and they deserve sincere answers from all of us, especially Liberians who are involved in peacebuilding efforts throughout the country. Although foreign nationals are concerned about our country, we must be the torchbearers of peace.

This work, Studies in Liberianology – Volume I: Re-Assessing Peacebuilding Strategies in Liberia, is an attempt to help us find workable solutions to the many problems affecting this glorious land of liberty. The term Liberianology comes from the country’s name, Liberia. It is hoped that this and subsequent issues will critically look at our checkered history, analyzing and suggesting means to improve our country; thereby, contributing to the stability of the Mano River basin.

My thanks to SKW, Jr. who introduced me to the formal/academic aspects of peacebuilding by affording me the opportunity to attend a workshop in peacebuilding and human rights education in 1997 in Monrovia; and Dr. Ben A. Roberts, president of the University of Liberia, for his encouragement and interest in research. My thanks to the management of the Liberians United to Serve Humanity (LUSH) for giving me the experience to serve as coordinator forits Counselling, Trauma Healing, Reconciliation and Peacebuilding Department. This experience has enriched my understanding of peacebuilding. My thanks to Thomas G. Du, my long time colleague, friend and brother who read this manuscript and made valuable suggestions. Finally, I also like to thank Rev. Bartholomew C. Colley, another long time friend, brother and colleague whose pieces of advice have helped me along the way as a peacebuilder. All errors are my responsibility.



At a workshop in Sinoe County in southeastern Liberia in 2001, a colleague of mine and staff were forced to restructure their training program they had carried to the people. They had gone there with their mind fixed and a planned training package. They had arrived in the county as experts. Little did they ever think
that they would have to go back literally to the drawing board to reassess their methods of training in peacebuilding.

It was a moving experience for my colleagues when for two days they were confronted with new realities. First, they had to come to grips with the fact that the war has brought out culture sensitivity in people. Second, they also had to confront the reality that the war has made people identity conscious. Third, they also realized that the war has made people change roles – the rich have become poor or vice versa.

The experience being narrated here occurred with some members of the Sapo ethnic group. Before the coup of 1980, little was known of this group. Many members of the group had served as domestic servants of the Kru and Americo-Liberian/settler groups in Sinoe County. Since linguistically they are closer to both the Kru and Krahn ethnic groups, many Sapos became acculturated as Krus or Krahns. The Sapos were never counted as an ethnic group before the military putsch.

But in 1980, the year of the military takeover, the tide began to change for the Sapos. They started to see themselves as equals with the two groups in Sinoe
and with any other group in the country. The reason was that Maj. Gen. Thomas Wes Syen, Jr,. the number two man in the junta and Oscar Quiah, the junta’s first minister of internal affairs were Sapos and they did not hide their identity. Quiah went on to become a member of the first council of state that ruled the country for a brief period during the civil war.

The Sapo ethnic group is not the only group to have gone through such an ordeal. The Gbi is one group that has suffered similar fate as the Sapo. Sandwiched between the Gios and Bassa, the Gbis were acculturated either as Gios or Bassas. It was in the 1980s that they began to see themselves as an integral
identifiable group in the Liberian political microscope.

Or take the case of the Mandingo ethnic group. The Mandingoes arrived in Liberia before the Americo-Liberians. But the Mandingoes were largely relegated in the political spectrum of the country in spite of their huge economic power. Like the Sapos, they began to push for mainstream politics after 1980. Hence the Mandingoes saw the late President Samuel Doe not just as an ally, but also as their only hope to maintain and gain political status. Unfounded reports indicate that the late President Doe was contemplating making a Mandingo a vice presidential running mate if elections were held in 1990. Perhaps that is why in their quest for identity and political mainstreaming, many of our Mandingo and Krahn brethren have taken to the bush and are today combating the national government led by President Charles Taylor.

Added to the continual fighting in the northwest of the country are the continual violent student demonstrations throughout the country. The two cases talked about earlier and the Sinoe workshop experience raise serious concerns about the peacebuilding initiatives that we as peacebuilders are undertaking in this country.

There are more than twenty (20) listed international and national nongovernmental organizations engaged in peace related work throughout the country. Many of these organizations have been in Liberia for more then ten (10) years. What impact have they made on the peace process in this country, this sweet land of
liberty that is ours?

What are wrong with our strategies that mean Liberia continues to be in flame? Are we too academic in our approach? Are we going to our people as experts with all the answers instead of as co-workers? Are our training packages planned only by us and not with the people? Or is the continual war the problem of governance by the governors? If so, why have we, as peacebuilders, not ensured that good governance takes place? Or is it because we have failed to put in place early warning indicators or “actions to prevent disputes from arising between parties, to prevent existing disputes from escalating into conflict and to limit the spread of the latter whey they occur?” (Boutros Boutros-Ghali, An Agenda for Peace, New York, 1995, 2nd ed., p. 13.)

Surely, there is a need for peacebuilders in Liberia to rethink their strategies because people are not only dying in Liberia and are continuously being displaced in the Mano River basin, but they are also “traumatized and re-traumatized…” and have over the years, no doubt, realized “their forced dehumanization as the most severe trauma inflicted on them (Joyce Braak, “Dehumanization Trauma in Afghanistan: The Taliban’s War on Women,” in Trauma Lines, Issue IV, 20012, p.10).



Situated on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa, the country was founded 1847 as a home for repatriated slaves from America and those captured on slave ships in the Congo basin in central Africa. Liberia has a land area of 37, 743 square miles.

The country is divided into fifteen political subdivisions called counties. These are Montserrado, Grand Bassa, Sinoe, Lofa, Nimba, Rivercess, Margibi, Grand Cape Mount, Bong, Grand Gedeh, Gbapolu, River Gee, Maryland Bomi and Grand Kru.

Unofficially, there are eighteen ethnic groups that inhabit and co-exist in the country. These are the settler (Americo Liberians and Congoes) Klao (Kru), Mah (Mano), Dan (Gio), Lorma, Belleh, Gbandi, Kissi, Sapo, Bassa, Kpelle, Vai, Krahn, Mandingo, Gbi, Dei, Gola and Mende.

The constitution of Liberia is modelled after that of the United States of America. There are three branches of government – legislative, executive, and judiciary. These should be independent of each other. But the history of Liberia shows that a cult of the presidency has existed for over half a century such that the presidency is regarded as lord and gospel in society.

The settlers ruled the country during the first republic (1847-1980). The settler rule was implemented basically through the Americo-Liberians, who themselves were first divided on the basis of US southern plantation mentality -house Negroes and field Negroes. The house Negroes and their mulatto masters settled in Monrovia and its immediate nearby surroundings while the field Negroes were sent to settlements such as Clay Ashland, Louisiana, Philadelphia (in Maryland County) and Lexington and Mississippi (in Sinoe County).

The second divide in the settler group was on color line/skin pigmentation. The divide on color line/skin pigmentation is seen in the 1871 issue that led to the ousting and assassination of President Edward James Roye, the first dark skinned president of the nation. The mulattos led by Joseph Jenkins Roberts, the country’s first president, assassinated him because he was dark skinned. However, President Roye’s True Whig Party (TWP) again won the elections later in 1871. This victory, according to Quentin Outram, meant “Intra-settler conflicts were resolved…” (The Lessons of Liberia: An Analysis of the Liberian Complex Political Emergency 1989-1997, London: University of Leeds, 1998, p. 14).

Just as the settlers were made to look down on their African identity when they were slaves, they had no regards for the identity of their brothers and sisters whom they met on these shores. They shunned nearly everything that was African or traditional. Before the 1970s many indigenes were forced to adopt Americo-Liberian names by living with Americo-Liberians. This afforded them the opportunity to get education and eventually employment and acceptance into fraternities such as the Masonic craft. That was how many indigenes became Dennises, Yancies, Barclays, Kings, Joneses or Brisbanes. My father used to be called Samuel Brisbane before he graduated from the Booker Washington Institute in 1956.

Other indigenes that did not have the opportunity to stay with Americo-Liberians anglicized their names in order to make headways in education, employment and fraternities. That was how Wotor, Yekeh, Kollie,Molly and Kpadeh became Wotorson, Yekehson, Kollison, Morris and Kpadehson respectively.

If you did not adopt an Americo-Liberian name or anglicize your name, then you had to find another route for acculturation – marriage. Hence, that is how people like Henry Boima Fahnbulleh who was married into the Americo-Liberian ruling class rose to such high positions as Ambassador to East Africa.

The Americo-Liberian ruling class celebrated two holidays yearly. These were January 7 and December 1. These days were set aside as Pioneers Day and Matilda Newport Day respectively. Pioneers Day was meant to honor the settlers for coming to this country and bringing light to an uncivilized people while Matilda Newport Day was meant to honor the heroic ideal of Matilda Newport for her gallantry in shooting and killing natives/indigenes who allegedly attacked the settlers at the battle of Fort Hill.

Another serious crisis point in Liberia’s chequered history was the Fernando Po crisis. In the late 1920s, the government of President Charles D.B. King was accused of trafficking in human beings – transporting indigenes, principally from the southeast to work on the Spanish island of Fernando Po in Equatorial Guinea. The League of Nations described the situation as being “hardly distinguishable from organized slave trade, and that in the enforcement of this system the services of the Liberian Frontier Force and the services and influence of certain high government officials are constantly and systematically used” (The League of Nations’ Report of the International Commission of Enquiry into the Existence of Slavery and Forced Labor in the Republic of Liberia, The Hague: League of Nations, 1930 p.5; for further information, read I. K. Sundiata’s Black Scandal: The Liberian Labor Crisis of 1928 – 1936, Pennsylvania: Institute for the Study of Human Issues, 1980.)

The exposure of the Fernando Po crisis led the national government under President Edwin J. Barclay to take reprisal action against the Krus in 1930. The Krus and Grebos who were opposed to the depopulation of their towns as a result of the trade in human cargoes had testified en mass before the Commission of Enquiry that indeed their kinsmen were forcibly taken to Fernando Po. Although the national legislature, did institute laws stopping the export of labour and the pawning system, the national government fought bitterly to punish the Krus and the Grebos by burning many of their towns and cities, including Barclayville. According to Sundiata, “the public relations value of such actions was largely relegated by the news that the Monrovia government was forcibly attacking the Kru and Grebo for testifying before the League’s Commission of inquiry” (p. 128). The irony is that President Barclay who was Secretary of State
(minister of foreign affairs) at the time of the crisis was one of the principal lawyers of the Syndicole Agricola, the Spanish agriculture company on Fernando Po for whom the forcibly recruited Liberians worked.

Tribalism has been another high crisis point in Liberia. The regimes of President Tubman and Samuel Kanyon Doe helped fuel tribal sentiments throughout the country. Although Tubman ended the idea of provinces and came out with his Unification Policy, the country was highly divided on tribal lines. Nearly 98 % of students who went to private school or were sent abroad for academic training were children of the Americo-Liberians. The bulk of the indigenes could not afford to send their children to private schools, which offered quality education at the time. Nearly all the ministerial and directorial posts were held by Americo-Liberians. (Read Gus J. Liebenow’s Liberia: The Evolution of the Priviledge, New York: Cornell University Press, 1969).

Tubman crowned it up in 1968 when he accused an indigene, Ambassador Fahnbulleh, of attempting to stage a communist supported coup. Ambassador Fahnbulleh was said to be the prime suspect and well-established indigenes like the acculturated Burlieh Kennedy, the first superintendent of Lofa County, were accused as accomplices. All the top Americo-Liberian lawyers in the country refused to defend Fahnbulleh. He represented himself in court, was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.

After Tubman’s death in a London clinic in 1971, his successor was Vice President William Richard Tolbert, Jr. President Tolbert tried to unify the country when he nominated the late Jackson Fiah Doe to succeed him as vice president for the nation. But the hard-core conservatives of the ruling TWP refused to accept Jackson’s nomination. Instead, they chose another Americo-Liberian, James E. Greene. This angered the indigenes, who felt that they were being marginalized and used as canon folders by the Americo-Liberian ruling class.

Tolbert was killed in a bloody coup the morning of April 12, 1980 in circumstances that are still doubtful. The coup leader, then Mst. Sgt. Samuel K.
Doe, used the Americo-Liberian versus countryman/indigene issue to win support for his coup. He and his fellow coupists accused the Tolbert regime of tribalism, and widespread corruption. But no sooner than six months in office, it was crystal clear that Mst. Sgt. Samuel Doe and his People’s Redemption Council would be extremely corrupt and tribalistic.

A major crisis point during the Doe regime was the events leading to and the rigging of the general elections in 1985. Nearly six weeks to the date of the elections, only Mst. Sgt. Samuel Doe’s National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL) had been allowed to register as a full-fledged political party. Barely
three weeks to elections, the Liberia Action Party(LAP), the Liberia Unification Party (LUP) and the Unity Party (UP) were allowed to register after much pressure from the United States government. In the words of Amos Sawyer, “Presumably upon the prodding of the Americans, Doe agreed to let other parties
register a few weeks before the elections…” (Effective Immediately: Dictatorship in Liberia, 1980 – 1986: A Personal Perspective, Rijksweg: Africa Center, 1988,

Doe accentuated tribalism after the failed 1985 attempts by the late Brig. Gen. Thomas Qwiwonkpa to topple the government, one month seven days after the
rigged general elections. The Gio and Mano ethnic groups suffered gravely. Many of their communities in Montserrado, Grand Gedeh and Nimba Counties were
raided and men and women killed. “It all would have seemed a dream were it not for the massacre that ensued after Doe regained control…. As television cameras followed the dancing crowds around the city, record was being made for the greatest vendetta ever known in Liberia…. Gio communities in Monrovia, Nimba and Grand Gedeh were raided and looted; large numbers of residents were killed” (Sawyer, p.32).

Many Manos and Gios were also forced to flee the country, particularly for Cote d’Ivoire, where they joined many Americo-Liberians who also fled President Doe’s repression. And in Cote d’Ivoire, the quest to remove President Doe from power through force began to take roots. Propertied Americo-Liberians, Gios and Manos who were disenchanted with the Doe regime bundled themselves in the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) to unseat President Doe. With the backing of the triangular force – the governments of Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Libya – the NPFL began its war December 24, 1989.

The war which began as a popular uprising , soon took a tribal turn, particularly among Gio, Mano, Krahn and Mandingo. The Gio and Mano constituted one group while the Krahn and Mandingo formed the other group. As the murder and mayhem took a wider dimension, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) organized an intervention force called ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG). But ECOWAS itself was divided on policy issues about Liberia. Francophone ECOWAS gave its support to Mr. Charles Taylor and his shadow NPFL government based in Gbarnga while Anglophone ECOWAS supported Mr. Amos Sawyer and his generally internationally accepted Interim Government of National Unity based in Monrovia. Outram notes, “Failures in ECOWAS policy were made obvious by the outbreak of the ‘second war’ in 1992. The prime preventable failure of the ECOWAS intervention and the wider international community was the excessive time taken to bring a negotiated end to the war, itself the result of internal divisions within ECOWAS” (pp. 3 – 4).

The war had a devastating effect on the country. It destroyed the social fabric of the society, breaking down morals. Many armed groups (warring factions) and warlords emerged; thus, giving rise to the high rate of armed robbery in the country, particularly Monrovia, the capital city. (See Appendix for listing of Warring Factions.)


A chronology of events in Liberia as indicated below shows that the nation has gone through nearly twenty-five years of violence.

1979 : The Rice Riots – University of Liberian student Irene Nimpson killed
and millions of dollars worth of property damaged.

1980 : The People’s Redemption Council (PRC) staged a military coup – President William R. Tolbert, Jr., and thirteen others killed.

1981 : PRC Vice Chairman and six other PRC members executed for alleged coup plot.

1982 : The Nimba Raid – Some five persons died, including Brig. Gen. Robert

1985 : Attempted Coup – Coup leader Brig. Gen. Thomas Qwiwonkpa and
nearly 1,000 persons killed.

1988 : Attempted Coup – Coup leader Brig. Gen. J. Nicholas Podier and nearly
twenty others killed.

1989 – 1997 : Phase I of the Civil War – Launched on Christmas eve by the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, nearly 600,000 persons died.

1999 – Present : Phase II of the Civil War- Launched by the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, the war has displaced nearly 400,000 persons and killed some 50,000 so far.

How do we as peace builders break or help break the circle of violence? How can we, as “salt of the Liberia”, help to preserve the country from disintegrating further?

A. Taking a Critical Look at Self

Many times in our country, workers and institutions involved in peacebuilding are often critical of government officials and government actions which contradict the national constitution and international conventions that Liberia is signatory to. Sometimes, the government responds, “That those people who are talking can not teach us democracy because they themselves are not democratic.”

While it may be agreed that the government is simply trying to lash back at these institutions, it is also true that many peacebuilding institutions are not democratic and are simply one man or family run organizations. In other cases, many of these institutions are simply “black bag” institutions, that is they are run simply in bags, they have no offices.

Another serious problem with many peacebuilding institutions is that they do not possess the trained manpower. In some cases, officials of these institutions refused to employ people with the requisite skills for fear that the people to be employed will overshadow them and will eventually win the favor of foreign partners, if any.

What is happening in Liberia is that many people involved in peacebuilding or related activities such as human rights/democracy advocacy do not have the requisite professional training. This phenomenon is prevalent in the circles of human rights organizations.

B. Building a Strong Coalition

For peacebuilding and related organizations to make a forceful stance on issues, there is a need for these organizations to form a coalition. A coalition will speak with one voice. Every organization will not be speaking loosely on issues in a coalition. Every organization will be assigned a particular role. A coalition does not mean that organizations will lose their individual identities.

The Inter Religious Council (formerly Interfaith Council), which comprises members of the Liberia Council Churches and National Muslim Council, has been doing well to help bring peace to Liberia. Nevertheless, its efforts to bring other groups such as the Ba’hai on board have met with a lukewarm reception or none at all.

Moreover, the Christian groups themselves are divided on what their interpretation is concerning the Christian role in the fight for social justice in a society. Although the mainstream churches have been collectively vocal on societal ills through the Liberian Council of Churches, they have individually occasionally been critical of the ills of the society. The most vocal is the Catholic Church which sees part of its obligation as being a conscience of society. Through their pastoral letters, the Catholic bishops have continued to push for a more just and stable Liberia where people will be judged by their actions and not by their tribe and status.

For their part, the Pentecostal churches have largely remained mute about the ills of society and many have refused to join the Liberia Council of Churches. The Pentecostals usually base their silence about the ills of society on their interpretation of Romans 13:1-7.

And through an effective and well coordinated coalition, the Christian community has the potential of going beyond a mere crusade as was done in February 2002 under the auspices of the Liberia for Jesus organization. We need to learn from the experiences of other religious communities.

For instance, in Cambodia, since the country is predominantly Buddhist, the Cambodian Ghandi (Maha Ghosananda) perceived the idea of establishing a month-long peace walk know as Dhammayietra. “In Buddhist terminology, the Dhammayietra treads the ‘Middle Path.’ Dhammayietra is making a statement for peace and non-violence, and against policies, strategies and actions that lead to violence…” (European Centre for Conflict Prevention, People Building Peace : 35 Inspiring Stories from Around the World, The Netherlands: European Centre for Conflict Prevention, pp. 220-221).

The Christian community needs to reflect on Jesus’ teachings on peace when he says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Matt. 2:9). For if Christians are to be peacemakers, they need to get deeply involved in activities that will lead to lasting peace.

The civil society as a natural movement is very fragile and largely fragmented. The efforts made by the Trauma Healing, Reconciliation and Peacebuilding Department of the Lutheran Church in Liberia-Lutheran World Service/Federation in May and July 2002 need to be augmented. The civil society organizations in Liberia need to learn from the experiences of their counterparts in neighbouring Sierra Leone. A strong and united civil society entails several measures.

First, the civil society needs a leadership that is not centered on “I”. It must be centered on “we” as a team. A leadership focused on “I” will always be concerned about the personal material growth of themselves in leadership and not the group.

The second factor that the civil society needs to consider is the creation of a national program that is home (Liberia) focused, not foreign trip centered. What is happening is that many of the leaders of Liberian civil society organizations are concerned more with being heard abroad than at home. The civil society organizations should work towards a national program to be carried out by all of them.

C. Overhauling the National Reconciliation and Reunification Commission

Since its composition in 1997, the NRRC is yet to make the impact that it should be making. It is an organization that many persons cannot tell you about. Many people will ask you, “What is it about?” Apart from the statements that are issued calling for people to stop fighting (as was done in September 1998) and
on activities that the NRRC carried out sometime ago in Grand Cape Mount County, the NRRC remains an entity in name.

If the NRRC were working substantively, it would have helped to reduce tension in the country by drawing out relevant programs promoting peace and unity in the land. It would view reconciliation as a process and not an event.

D. Reviewing the Training Process

Since 1991, trainings in peacebuilding and related activities have taken place in every nook and corner of the country. Both civilians and securities have attended these training sessions organized by both local and international NGOs. Yet, Liberia remains at war.

Surely, there is a need to critically reflect about the trainings that we carry out throughout this country. An assessment of the training process in peacebuilding and related activities will reveal three major weaknesses.

The first major weakness with the peacebuilding training process in Liberia is that training needs are imposed or assumed. Training needs analyses (TNAs) are rarely done to determine the training needs of the participants. Most often, training needs are set in our offices and taken to the sites.

The next weakness confronting the training process is that it is too foreign textbook or foreign academic oriented. We hardly rely on the practical experiences of the participants. Many of our examples are taken from western textbooks. Many of us involved in peacebuilding work are either lazy writers or we do not have the writing skills to jot down our own or other people’s experiences gained from the field in Liberia.

This lack of creative impulse has made much training, to borrow the words of Sam G. Doe, have the “same method, same symbols, same author… What struck us in this process was the consistent use of just a few materials for training across the world. Take any training material in peacebuilding and you will come across a conflict tree, onion, egg, etc. There will be a pyramid of top, middle and bottom sectors; there will be a triangle depicting attitude, situation, and
behavior. The definitions of conflict, peace, justice, etc will essentially be the same and the authors cited will mainly come from North America, especially the United States of America” (“Peacebuilding and Conflict Intervention: A Critical Review of Training” in From the Field, Issue Number 3, 2001, p.4).

The third major weakness is the use of the same old facilitators/trainers at the various workshops or seminars throughout the country. After more than five years of training people in Liberia, having new facilitators emerged? Trainings become dull when people continue to see the same old faces treating the
same old topics over and over. And what is pathetic is that these same old facilitators use the same old notes.

Training changes lives. Therefore, if training is to have the desired impact then we need to re-examine our training strategies. This will enable us to correct the flaws in our strategies.


(This will enable interested persons to an in depth understanding of the Liberian conflict.)

Akpan, M. D. (1973) “Black Imperialism: Americo-Liberian Rule Over the African Peoples of Liberia: 1841-1964”, Canadian Journal of African Studies, Vol. 7. No 2 pp. 217-236.

Berg, Elliot (1982) The Liberian Crisis and an Appropriate US Response: Report to USAID, Washington, DC. USAID.

Chaudhuri, J. Pal (1985) “An Analysis of the Recent Developments in Liberia”, Liberia Forum, Vol. 1 No. 1 pp. 45-54.

Clower, Robert et al. (1966) Growth Without Development: An Economy Survey of Liberia, Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press.

Davis, Ronald (1975) “The Struggle for Authority on the Kru Coast”, International Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 8 No. 2 pp. 222-265.

Fraenkel, Merran (1964) Tribe and Class in Monrovia, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hayden, Thomas (1985) Report on Liberia: Human Rights Issues, Washington, D.C.: Society of African Missions, Social Concerns Department (Mimeographed).

International Human Rights Law Group (1986) Human Rights in Liberia: An Update, Washington, D.C.: IHRLG.

Jones, Hannah Abeodu (1962) “The Struggle for Political and Cultural Unification of Liberia: 1847 – 1930”, Ph.D. Dissertation, Northwestern
University, Evaston, Illionois.

Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (1986) Liberia: A Promise Betrayed, New York: Lawyers Committee for Human Rights.

League of Nations (1930) Report of the International Commission of Enquiry into the Existence of Slavery and Forced Labor in the Republic of Liberia, The Hague: League of Nations.

Liberia Research and Information Project (1985) “ Doe and the Death of Due Process”, Liberia Alert Vol, 1. No. 1.

Liebenow, J. Gus (1969) Liberia: The Evolution of the Privilege, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.

Outram, Quentin (1998) The Lessons of Liberia: An Analysis of the Liberian Complex Political Emergency 1989-1997, London: University of Leeds, 1998.

Sawyer, Amos (1988) Effective Immediately – Dictatorship in Liberia, 1980 – 1986: A Personal Perspective, Rijksweg: Africa Center.

Schooder, Ganter and Werner Korte (1986) “Samuel K. Doe, the People’s Redemption Council and Power: Preliminary Remarks on the Anatomy and Social Psychology of a Coup d’etat” Liberia Forum, Vol. 2. No 3. pp. 3-25.

Senyon, Patrick L.N. (1985) “The Threat to Democracy” (Testimony before the Sub-committee on Africa, US House of Representatives), Liberia Forum, Vol. 1. No. 1 pp. 83-89.

Sundiata, Ibrahim K (1980) Black Scandal: America and the Liberian Labor Crisis, 1929-1936, Philadephia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues.


AFL Armed Forces of Liberia (the national army)

BB Black Beret

CDF Congo Defence Force

INPFL Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia

LDF Lofa Defence Force

LPC Liberia Peace Council

LURD Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy

NPFL National Patriotic Front of Liberia

NPFL/CRC National Patriotic Front of Liberia/Central Revolution Council

ULIMO/J United Liberation Movement for Democracy in Liberia/Roosevelt
Johnson- leader

ULIMO/K United Liberation Movement for Democracy in Liberia/Alhaji Kromahleader

Author: S. Kpanbayeazee Duworko, II
Department of English and Literature
Liberia College
University of Liberia
Monrovia, Liberia
West Africa


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