Alert Series: Liberia: Disintegration of the Liberian Nation since the 1989 Civil War   [open pdf - 155KB]

"In December 1989, a small group of Liberian rebels crossed the border from Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) into Liberia's Nimba County, sparking off a civil war that would eventually lead to the overthrow of President Samuel Kanyon Doe. Although many Liberians were glad to see Doe's repressive regime removed, no group that emerged from the civil war was powerful enough to replace the Doe government. As a result, the Republic of Liberia was plunged into a state of chaos from which it has yet to emerge. In the meantime, Liberia has effectively ceased to exist as a nation. Despite a cease-fire agreement signed in Bamako, Mali, in 1990, the civil war never really ended, and with the escalation of violence that began in August 1992 it seemed as if even the limited peace Liberia possessed had been completely shattered. The re-emergence of overt civil war threatened to return Liberia to the state of terror and brutality that prompted Africa Watch monitors to call Liberia a 'human rights disaster.'1 In July 1993, the parties involved returned to Geneva for yet another round of peace talks, resulting in the signing of a new agreement in Cotonou, Benin, on July 25, 1993. The agreement provides for a cease-fire beginning on August 1, to be followed by the formation of a transitional government in September and the holding of elections in February 1994."

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