Type Journal Article
Title Liberia
Publication (Day/Month/Year)
After a quarter-century of instability and war, capped by the dramatic forced
resignation and exile in 2003 of former warlord and president Charles Taylor,
Liberian political and civic leaders who for several months had been assembled
in Ghana under international auspices began to chart a new course for
peace and reconciliation. The outcome of their deliberations was the Accra
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which provided for a power-sharing
interim arrangement, to be followed by internationally supervised elections out
of which would emerge a legitimate government of Liberia.
At the time of the peace talks, the country remained gripped by a 14-year
contest for power between Liberian armed and political factions that had
left the state tottering on the brink of collapse. In December 1989, National
Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) insurgency leader Charles Taylor challenged
the government of President Samuel Doe, launching an attack on government
posts from across the border with Cote d’Ivoire. In late 1990, a faction of the
NPFL led by Prince Johnson killed Doe and a coalition of civilian political parties
known as the Interim Government of National Unity was installed with the
assistance of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and
the tacit support of Johnson’s forces. A decade later, and despite being voted
into offi ce in 1997, Taylor remained utterly uninterested in national reconciliation.
Instead, the government devolved into a warlord-style regime battling
other armed factions, eventually bringing Liberia to its 2003 circumstances

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