Liberia 1989-1994 : a study of ethnic and spiritual violence

TitleLiberia 1989-1994 : a study of ethnic and spiritual violence
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsS.D.K. Ellis
Secondary TitleAfrican affairs : the journal of the Royal African Society
Pagination165 - 197
Date Published1995///
Publication Languageeng
Keywords1991, civil war, Liberia, peace, violence

This article deals with the civil war which broke out in Liberia on 24 December 1989, when 100 or more fighters claiming allegiance to the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), led by Charles Taylor, advanced over the border from Côte d'Ivoire to attack the town of Butuo in Nimba County. The article examines how Liberia descended into conflict and why it took such violent form. It surveys the political and military events that took place since the NPFL invasion, paying attention to the collapse of the government, the arrival of the Ecomog intervention force in Monrovia in August 1990, the murder of President Doe by Prince Johnson's Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), the role of Ulimo (United Liberation Movement for Democracy), an organization formed in 1991 by Liberians who had taken refuge in Sierra Leone, the emergence of warlords, the progress of negotiations and developments following the Cotonou Peace Accord of July 1993. It suggests that the causes of the war are not only political, but may also be explained in religious or spiritual terms. Much of the information in the article was acquired during a field trip to Liberia in July 1994. Notes, ref

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