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

Three obituaries: Mohammed Alpha Bah, Igolima Amachree and Svend Holsoe

Within ten days, three eminent scholars have passed away. The three esteemed long-time researchers and writers are Mohammed Alpha Bah, Ogolima Amachree and Svend Holsoe. Their contribution to ‘Liberia’ can hardly be underestimated. To commemorate them I have decided to … Continue reading

Posted in 1985 Constitution, Accra Comprehensive Peace Accord, Al Hassan Conteh, Bibliography, Comprehensive Peace Accord, CPA, Daily Observer, DePauw University, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Elwood Dunn, Eugene Peabody, Famous Liberians, FOL, Friends of Liberia, Guinea, Howard University, Igolima Amachree, Independence Day Orator, Indiana University, Lansing, Liberia, Liberian Collections, Liberian Diaspora, Liberian History, Liberian Studies Journal, LSA, LSJ, Mano River Basin, Mohammed Alpha Bah, National Motto, National Seal, National Symbols, Nigeria, Obituary, Reuben Mollo James, Sewanee University, Sierra Leone, Sr., Svend Holsoe, The Liberian Journal, Tipoteh, TRC, Truth and Reconciliation Committee, University of Liberia, USA, Vai, Verlon Stone, William V.S. Tubman | Leave a comment

Convicted war criminal Guus Kouwenhoven on the run!

Kouwenhoven found guilty It was an historic day, April 21, 2017. I had travelled to ‘s-Hertogenbosch, colloquially known as Den Bosch, the Netherlands, for the final stage of a trial that had lasted for too long: since 2005, when the Dutch … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 presidential elections, African Studies Centre Leiden, Alhaji Kromah, Alieu Kosiah, Appeal Court of 's-Hertogenbosch, arms trade, Belgium, Central Revolutionary Council, Charles Taylor, Chuck Taylor, Civil War(s) Liberia, Congo-Brazzaville, CRC, Dieneke de Vos, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, European Convention on Extradition, extradition, extradition treaty, Foya, General Butt Naked, George Boley, Global Witness, Guinea, Guinea Conakry, Guus Kouwenhoven, Human Rights, human rights violations, impunity, Impunity in Africa, Inez Weski, INPFL, Justice, Kolahun, Krahn, Liberia, Liberia" From the Love of Liberty to Paradise Lost, Liberian History, Lofa County, LPC, Martina Johnson, Merchant of Death, Mr Gus, Nobel Peace Prize, NPFL, OTC, Prince Y. Johnson, Public Prosecutor, Quote 500, Republic of Congo, Republic of South Africa, Ritual Killings, Royal Timber Corporation, RTC, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone Special Court, Supreme Court, Switzerland, Tajikistan, terrorism, the Netherlands, Tom Woewiyu, Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC), ULIMO-K, UN arms embargo, United Nations (UN), USA, Viktor Bout, Voinjama, war crimes, weapons, Zorzor | Leave a comment

Reopening of Kouwenhoven trial in the Netherlands

Yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised when learning the news that the Kouwenhoven trial had reopened – on February 6. Already on more than one occasion I wrote about the serious charges against Guus Kouwenhoven, a Dutch businessman. Guus Kouwenhoven – … Continue reading

Posted in 1979, Africa Hotel, African Studies Centre Leiden, Appeal Court of 's-Hertogenbosch, Appeal Court of The Hague, arms trade, BBC, Buchanan, Charles Taylor, Civil War(s) Liberia, Corruption, District Court of The Hague, Ebola, forestry, Guinea, Gus Kouwenhoven, Guus Kouwenhoven, Guus van Kouwenhoven, Human Rights, human rights violations, impunity, Inez Weski, Justice, Lebanon, Liberia, Liberia" From the Love of Liberty to Paradise Lost, Liberian History, Los Angeles, Malaysia, Monrovia, Mr Gus, murder, NPFL, OAU, Oriental Timber Company, OTC, Public Prosecutor, Quote 500, rape, Rembrandt, Rotterdam, Royal Timber Corporation, RTC, RUF, Second civil war 1999-2003, Sierra Leone, Supreme Court, The Hague Justice Portal, torture, travel ban, Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC), UK, UN, UN arms embargo, United States, United States of America, USA, wa, war crimes, weapons, William R. Tolbert Jr. | Leave a comment

Impunity in Africa

The decision of President Yahya Abdul-Aziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh Babili Mansa, the despotic ruler of the Gambia, not to accept the outcome of the December 1 presidential elections – contrary to his earlier congratulations to his opponent, the winner, Adama … Continue reading

Posted in Adama Barrow, African Politics, Alassane Ouattara, Amadou Sanogo, Banjul, Blaise Compaore, Burkina Faso, Chad, Charles Taylor, Civil War(s) Liberia, Comprehensive Peace Agreement CPA 2003, Coups in Africa, ECOWAS, elections, Elections in Africa, Elections in Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, François Compaoré, Gambia river, Green Berets, Hissein Habré, Human Rights, Impunity in Africa, Ivory Coast, Jammeh, Justice, Liberia, Mali, Monrovia, Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria, Norbert Zongo, press freedom, Red Berets, Red Berets trial, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone Special Court, Sikasso, Sir Dawda Diawara, The Gambia, Thomas Sankara, Tuareg, Yahya Abdul-Aziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh Babili Mansa | Leave a comment

‘Choosing The Hero – My improbable journey and the rise of Africa’s first woman president’ by K. Riva Levinson

There’s no doubt about it. Karen Riva Levinson’s ‘Choosing The Hero’ is an interesting book. In fact, it’s more than that. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in Liberia’s contemporary history. It will also be very useful for students in … Continue reading

Posted in 1847, 2005 presidential elections, 2017 presidential elections, Abdoulye Dukule, Adolphus Dolo, Africa's longest serving president, Amara Konneh, Americo-Liberians, Amos Sawyer, Angola, Antoinette Sayeh, BKSH & Associates, Blaise Compaore, BMS&K, Byron Tarr, Capitol Hill, Charles Gyude Bryant, Charles Taylor, Choosing the Hero, Civil War(s) Liberia, Congo Kinshasa, Conmany Wesseh, Corruption, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Dos Santos, DRC, Edwin Snowe, elections, Elections in Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Elwood Dunn, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gaddafi, General Peanut Butter, George Weah, Henry Fahnbulleh, Herman Cohen, Iraq, Iron Lady, James Fromoyan, Jewel Howard Taylor, José dos Santos, Justice, K.Riva Levinson, KRL International LLC, Langley Virginia, Laurent Kabila, Liberia, Libya, lobbying fiirms, lobbying firm, Manafort, Monrovia, Mozambique, National reconciliation, nepotism, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Nobel Peace Prize, oil, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Prince Y. Johnson, Reconciliation, Riva Levinson, Rwanda, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Second civil war 1999-2003, Siad Barre, Somalia, Sudan, Teodoro Nguema, This Child Will Be Great, Tipoteh, UNDP, United States, United States of America, University of Liberia, USA, Washington DC, Winston Tubman | Leave a comment

Some thoughts on Liberia’s 169th independence anniversary

Liberia: “Happy July 26!” Some Liberians – both abroad and at home – say there is little to celebrate. Others, both inside and outside the country, say Liberia has made true progress under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2006 – present). … Continue reading

Posted in 2016, 2017 presidential elections, African Studies Centre Leiden, American Colonization Society, Americo-Liberians, Anthony Gardiner, April 12 1980, Charles Taylor, Christy Report, Civil War(s) Liberia, Economic development, EJ Roye, Elections in Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Flag Day, Forced Labour Scandal, Galinhas, Harper, Human Rights, Independence Day, Ivory Coast, JJ Roberts, Liberia, Liberia Colony, Liberia" From the Love of Liberty to Paradise Lost, Liberian Diaspora, Liberian Economy, Liberian History, Maryland in Africa, Monrovia, National flag, National Motto, National reconciliation, National Seal, National Symbols, National unification, natural resources, Nobel Peace Prize, Nuremberg, peace, President Charles King, President Charles King resignation, racism, Reconciliation, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Scramble for Africa, Second World War, Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone Special Court, Slavery Scandal, Tipoteh, UNMIL, WASP, William Coleman, William R. Tolbert Jr. | Leave a comment

‘Liberia: From the Love of Liberty to Paradise Lost’ – Now available in Monrovia!

The next 18 months will be crucial for Liberia. What do we know about Liberia?   UNMIL, the UN-peacekeeping force will virtually pull out by June 30, only two more months to go … Liberians inside and outside the country … Continue reading

Posted in 2017 presidential elections, African Studies Centre Leiden, Alhaji Kromah, Charles Taylor, Civil War(s) Liberia, Corruption, diamonds, Ebola, education, elections, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, ERA supermarket, Exclusive supermarket, Executive Mansion, FDI, forestry, George Boley, gold, health, infrastructure, iron ore, Justice, Liberia, Liberia" From the Love of Liberty to Paradise Lost, Liberian Economy, Liberian History, Monrovia, natural resources, oil, oil palm plantation, peace, Prince Y. Johnson, Reconciliation, Royal Hotel, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Stop & Shop supermarket, Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC), UN Drive supermarket, University of Liberia, UNMIL, Vice President Allen Yancy, William V.S. Tubman | Leave a comment

The mystery of the Kru or Grebo rings – an important discovery

Recently, the American expert and collector of nitien – Kru or Grebo rings – Mark Clayton contacted me after having read my 2014 postings on these ritual objects. His comments warranted an update and correction of my postings dated April … Continue reading

Posted in George Schwab, Grebo, Grebo rings, Harvard University, Kru, Kru money, Kru rings, Liberia, Liberian Hinterland, Liberian History, Mark Clayton, nitien, Peabody Museum, Scott Shepperd | Leave a comment

‘Beyond Myself: The Farm Girl and the African Chief’ by Anita K. Dennis

Anita Katherine Dennis has written an amazing book. It’s a real pageturner. It’s an autobiography, a biography, a love story, a religious testimony, and it’s about Liberia. It’s the uncredible story of a young, white, American sophomore student who grew … Continue reading

Posted in 1980 execution South Beach Monrovia, Afro-Americans, Americo-Liberians, Anita Dennis, Baindu, Ben Dennis, Beyond Myself, Brooks family, C.C. Dennis MFA, C.C.Dennis Sr, Cooper family, Dennis family, DeShield family, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Gbande, Henries family, Liberia, Liberian Age, Liberian Hinterland, Liberian History, Lofa County, Mende, Monrovia, Ohio State, Ohio University, racism, Tipoteh, Tolbert family, True Whig Party TWP, Vahun, William R. Tolbert Jr., William V.S. Tubman | Leave a comment

Liberia’s national symbols (cont’d)

On May 31, I raised the question ‘Liberia’s national symbols – what happened to the national debate?’. Now, a month later, I must confess that I am inclined to answer this question with the tentative conclusion: ‘Liberians are not interested’. … Continue reading

Posted in Abeodu Bowen Jones, Americo-Liberians, Ashmun, Bassa Cove, Buchanan, Decoration Day, Elwood Dunn, Flag Day, Independence Day, Independence Day Orator, James Monroe, JJ Roberts Day, Liberia, Liberia Colony, Liberian History, Liberian Studies Journal, Maryland in Africa, Matilda Newport, Matilda Newport Day, Mechlin, Mississippi in Africa, Monrovia, National Anthem, National flag, National Motto, National Seal, National Symbols, New Georgia, Pioneer's Day, Randall, Sakui W.G. Malakpa, Svend Holsoe, Tipoteh, Virginia, William R. Tolbert Jr. | Leave a comment