Author Archives: Dr. Fred P.M. van der Kraaij

April 12, 1980 : A Personal Account and View

On April 12, 1980 I woke up by the sound of automatic gunfire. It must have been around  6 AM. I was staying with a friend who lived in the Sherman Compound, in Congo Town, then one of Monrovia’s outskirts. My … Continue reading

Posted in 1980 execution South Beach Monrovia, April 12 1980, Charles Taylor, Comprehensive Peace Agreement CPA 2003, Corruption, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia, Liberian History, Monrovia, Monrovia South Beach, NPFL, Prince Y. Johnson, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Thomas Quiwonkpa, Tom Woewiyu, True Whig Party, William R. Tolbert Jr. | Leave a comment

The mystery of the Kru or Grebo rings

Part I The Kru speaking peoples of eastern Liberia The official number of tribes in Liberia is 16 but an estimated 31 different languages are spoken in the country. They usually are subdivided into three language groups: the West Atlantic … Continue reading

Posted in Africulture, Barclayville, Culture, Grand Cess Territory, Grebo, Grebo rings, Horatio Bridge, Krahn, Kru, Kru Coast, Kru money, Kru rings, Language groups, Liberia, Liberian Studies Journal, Malagueta Coast, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Pepper Coast, Portugal, Portuguese traders, Ritual Killings, Ronald Davis, Sapo, Siegman, Sven Holsoe, Vai | Leave a comment

The 1983 Planning and Development Atlas – a forgotten document?

By accident – I should rather say sheer luck – I recently acquired a beautiful copy of a Planning and Development Atlas that was prepared and published by the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs (MPEA) in 1983. The Atlas was … Continue reading

Posted in 1962 Census, 1974 Census, 1984 Census, 2008 National Population and Housing Census, Liberia, Liberian History, Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, Planning and Development Atlas 1983 | Leave a comment

Will Charles Taylor end up being Africa’s only former president convicted of war crimes?

Yes, September 26, 2013 was a historic day. On that day the Appeals Chamber of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) rendered its verdict in the ‘Charles Taylor trial’. In a packed court room presiding Justice George Gelaga King … Continue reading

Posted in African Politics, Alhaji Kromah, Blaise Compaore, Chad, Charles Taylor, Civil War(s) Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Ethiopia, Gaddafi, George Boley, Guinea Conakry, Haile Mariam Mengistu, Hissein Habré, Impunity in Africa, International Criminal Court ICC, Ivory Coast, Justice, Kenya, Liberia, Liberian History, Libya, Mali, Meles Zenawi, Nigeria, Omar al Bashir, Prince Y. Johnson, Robert Mugabe, Roosevelt Johnson, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone Special Court, The Gambia, Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC), Tuareg, Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto, Zimbabwe | Leave a comment

How many Liberians will celebrate ‘July 26’ abroad?

July 26 is Liberia’s Independence Day anniversary. On July 26, 1847 the independent Republic of Liberia was officially born, created by less than 1,000 men: freed slaves, free-born blacks and mulattoes from the United States of America. They called themselves … Continue reading

Posted in 1847 Constitution, African Politics, Americo-Liberians, April 12 1980, Charles Taylor, Comprehensive Peace Agreement CPA 2003, Conference of liberian Organizations in Southwestern United States (Colosus), Corruption, Elections in Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, European Federation of Liberian Associations (EFLA), Federation of Liberian Mandingo Associations in the USA (FELMAUSA), Independence Day, Liberia, Liberian Association Holland (LAH), Liberian Demography, Liberian Diaspora, Liberian History, Liberian Mandingo Organization in the Netherlands Bengoma, Liberian-American Community Organization of Southern California (LACOSC), Liberians In Holland, National Association of Cape mountainians in the Americas (NACMA), National Krao (Kru) Association in the Americas (NKAA), National Motto, National Seal, Organization of Liberians in Minnesota (OLM), Pepper Coast, Remittances, Samuel Kanyon Doe, The Liberian Journal, The Liberian Organization of the Piedmont, UNHCR, Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA), United Bassa Organization in the Americas (UNIBOA), Vision 2030, William R. Tolbert Jr. | Leave a comment

April in Monrovia

April is the hottest month in Liberia. The temperature easily reaches 90 degrees Fahrenheit (i.e. 32 degrees Celsius). The sky often is cloudy. Thunderstorms announce the  7 months rainy season. Air humidity will gradually rise and reach its maximum of 100 per cent … Continue reading

Posted in 1980 execution South Beach Monrovia, Alhaji Kromah, Americo-Liberians, April 12 1980, April 12 2013, April 14 1979, Charles Taylor, civil society organizations, Civil War(s) Liberia, Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia (COTOL), Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), Corruption, Coups in Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Executive Order No. 50, George Weah, Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL), Grassroot Leadership Network (GLN), Human Rights, Krahn, Liberia, Liberian History, MODEL, Monrovia, NPFL, oil palm plantation, Press freedom in Liberia, Rice Riots, Roosevelt Johnson, rubber, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Sinoe County, True Whig Party, ULIMO, ULIMO-J, ULIMO-K, William R. Tolbert Jr. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf received Honorary Doctorate Degree at Tilburg University

Posted in Ellen Johnson Sirleaf | Leave a comment

‘Vision 2030’ and the National Symbols

Dr. Elwood Dunn’s 2012 National Independence Day Oration and Dr. Evelyn Kandakai’s Flag Day Address have sparked a nationwide debate that fits well in ‘Vision 2030’ launched earlier this year. ‘Vision 2030’ On February 10 President Sirleaf launched ‘Vision 2030’, Liberia’s new … Continue reading

Posted in 1847 Constitution, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Elwood Dunn, Evelyn Kandakai, Flag Day, Flag Day Orator, Governance Commission, Independence Day, Independence Day Orator, Liberia, Liberia Education, Liberian History, Monrovia, National Anthem, National Motto, National Seal, National Symbols, Poverty Reduction Strategy Lift Up, President Daniel Warner, Reconciliation, Republic of South Africa, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Tipoteh, Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC), Vision 2030, William R. Tolbert Jr., William V.S. Tubman | Leave a comment

Liberia: 165 years of independence. Looking back or looking forward?

Every year, as July 26 approaches, I first get overwhelmed by joy, then get into a pensive mood. On previous occasions I have elaborated on the triple cause of my joy. Let me only mention the first reason here: Liberia’s … Continue reading

Posted in Charles Taylor, Civil War(s) Liberia, Coups in Africa, Debt relief, Elections in Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, Liberia, Liberian History, Monrovia, national budget, Nobel Peace Prize, Press freedom in Liberia, Reconciliation, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Sierra Leone Special Court, UNMIL, William R. Tolbert Jr. | Leave a comment

A Tribute To Tom Kamara: journalist, fighter for press freedom, human rights, justice, democracy

While in Monrovia last month I met with Tom Kamara, the Managing Editor of the New Democrat, one of Liberia’s best known and independent newspapers. When we separated we agreed to meet again in the Netherlands, in June. However, we … Continue reading

Posted in Amos Sawyer, Bella Yella prison, Boima Fahnbulleh, Charles Taylor, Civil War(s) Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Famous Liberians, Fromayan, IGNU, INPFL, James Fromoyan, Justice, Kissi, Liberia, Liberian History, Press freedom in Liberia, Prince Y. Johnson, Samuel Kanyon Doe, The Liberian Star, The New Democrat, The New Liberian, Thomas Weh-Syen, Tipoteh, William R. Tolbert Jr. | Leave a comment