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Several mainly ethnically based groups.





Ivory Coast


Sierra Leone

 West Africa


A civil war began in 1990 when rebels tried to overthrow the rule of President Samuel Doe, a Master Sergeant who had seized power from the former ruling Americo-Liberian aristocracy in 1980.

During his rule and during the war the economy of the country declined to subsistence level or below.

By December 1990 a provisional government under the control of a peacekeeping force sent by ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) seemed to be gaining control. A stand off resulted in stalemate with no government controlling the whole state. One of the guerrilla leaders, Charles Taylor, suspected of numerous massacres and atrocities was elected president. He is suspected of assisting the rebel leaders in neighboring states Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast, destabilisng the whole area.

January 2008 - Taylor's trial has begun at the International Court of Justice in the Hague (Netherlands).

The Liberia war was part of the disturbances of the whole West African area.

An election produced Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as president, and a slow process of recovery has begun.

Last revised 20/02/10


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