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Brief Historical Analysis of Liberian Civil War


Brief Historical Analysis of Liberian Civil War

Most of Liberia’s citizenry were colonized by America and that they returned their freed slaves to Africa and locate them in Moronvia-Liberia in 1822, The Americo-Liberians numbered 50,000 or so and they are in charge of Liberia. Though, the local Liberians too are very active in the administration of Liberia (Lye, 1978). So, the people of Liberia are American in nature just like the Sierra-Leoneans to the British and the economic mainstay of Liberia are: iron ore and rubber.

But killing of leaders of the country became a commonplace. For instance, Master Sergent Samuel Doe killed a civilian President William Tolbert in April 1980 and attained the country’s office of the president and within five years of his presidency a commander of the army, General Thomas Quiwonkpa that supported him to secure the seat of the president declared war against him and unfortunately the Quiwonkpa’s rebellion ended and he was killed and his naked body was paraded on the streets of Moronvia (NewsAfrica Magazine, 2003). President William Tolbert came from the Americo-Liberian stock. His rule gained some sentiments as almost everything was under his control and only few people could take decisions without his consent. This ponders the Liberian citizenry. By April 1980 resentment against William Tolbert had grown. Liberians talked about his government disgustingly. According to Togba Nah-Tipoteh said that ‘the eyes of the indigenous Liberians were becoming more and more open.’ As the government of William Tolbert became repressive, protests emerged as a result of rice supply and students and university lecturers were arrested. Thus, his government’s sudden fall took many by surprise. When the indigenous Liberians had confirmed the successful Samuel Doe’s coup against President William Tolbert they went into jubilation whereas the Americo-Liberians felt insecure. They had more fear and worry as 13 of Tolbert’s ministers were lined up in public, tied to the stakes, and summarily executed.

As nature has it, Master Sergent Samuel Doe too was killed in the hands of Prince Yormie Johnson in connivance with Charles Taylor and Roosevelt Johnson. Master Sergent Samuel Doe was captured, tortured and executed. Ethnic jealousy brought his life to an end. Samuel Doe was captured in the Headquarters of Economic Community Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), the military wing of ECOWAS. This incidence proved the body as in the ECOWAS military wing to be incompetent. According to Tosis Doegan (2021) a Liberian national says that: after the killing galore, Charles Taylor emerged as president of Liberia and thereafter found himself in the Executive Mansion in Moronvia through an election in 1997. So, the nation’s change of leaders had been through the barrel of guns, but Taylor did not learn from the lessons past rather he delved into regional politics, instead of healing the country from bloodbath and attending to the poverty status of which civil war had wrought the Liberian economy. President Charles Taylor became wealthy because he turned himself to be the main source of weapons, rebels in Sierra-Leone and Guinea brought “diamonds” to Liberia in exchange for guns and military training.

President Charles Taylor has forgotten that the world turns around and not quiet long new rebels came to being vying with him for power. Six years and some months into his presidency, President Charles Taylor was forced to announce that he will step down and will seek asylum in Nigeria, but the pressure on him to step down became severe plus United States President George Bush declarative statement that, “he wants Taylor out”. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) who had initially tried to negotiate a ceasefire between President Charles Taylor and the rebels followed by an interim power-sharing arrangement, but the whole nation said, “Taylor must Go”. When the warring factions or rebellions otherwise known as “Liberians United for Reconcilliation and Democracy (LURD) and the Movement for Democracy and Elections in Liberia (MODEL) were in Ghana trying to include their mens’ names in the formation of the forthcoming interim national government. The then three and a half million Liberians only watch this from afar as they were struggling to get food into their stomachs which hardly come by. The population was in total fear as they could be killed in crossfire or could be conscripted into the rebel ranks. For peace to come ECOWAS force that numbered nearly 3,000 was set to keep peace in Liberia and United States Government was contemplating of 500-1,000 US troops to Liberia. Though the US Government had already sent an advance team to have feasibilities study on the ways of intervention, whether will they or not? Rather the Bush Administration engaged on aids.

According to BBC News (2002), the Nigerian government during Chief Olusengu Obasanjo’s presidency granted President Charles Taylor asylum in other to give Liberia peace and thereafter Charles Taylor was arrested between the border of Borno State in Nigeria and Chad Republic while leaving the country illegally and he’s currently serving jail term emitted by International Criminal Court sitting in “The Hague” due to war crimes he committed while in office.

The nature of the Liberian Civil War was regional based as President Charles Taylor was busy supplying arms to rebellions in neighbouring countries like Sierra-Leone and Guinea through a barter trade of diamonds and weapons thus making himself to swim in affluence. Instead of President Charles Taylor looking inward to salvage the dying economy of the small West African country of Liberia, he chooses to be a regional warlord so that he would control Liberia and beyond.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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© 2021 Opuene Kingsley Inowei

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