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

April 12, 1980 – April 12, 2018

38 years ago, a group of soldiers changed the course of Liberia’s history. Seventeen soldiers, under the command of master-sergeant Samuel Doe, penetrated the Executive Mansion in the country’s capital Monrovia, killed the guards while working their way to the sleeping … Continue reading

Posted in 1847, 1980, 1980 coup, 2017 presidential elections, 2018, 20th Liberian President, 21st Liberian President, 22nd Liberian President, 23rd Liberian President, 24th Liberian President, 25th Liberian president, American Colonization Society, Americo-Liberian presidents, Americo-Liberians, April 12 1980, Bassa, Charles Taylor, Civil War(s) Liberia, Coups in Africa, democratically elected indigenous president, elections, elections fraud, Elections in Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Executive Mansion, freed slaves, Gbee, George Manneh Weah, George Weah, Gio, Gola, health, international soccer star, Jackson F. Doe, Krahn, Kru, Liberia Past and Present website, Liberian Economy, Liberian History, Mano, military coup, Minister of Finance, Monrovia, Moses Blah, murder, peace, People's Redemption Council, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Second civil war 1999-2003, Sherman, Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone Special Court, UNMIL, William R. Tolbert Jr. | Leave a comment

The importance of George Weah’s election victory

January 22, 2018 was a historic day for Liberia. On that day, George Manneh Weah was inaugurated as Liberia’s 25th president, the country’s first democratically elected indigenous president since the creation of the republic, 170 years ago! Yes sure, Africa’s … Continue reading

Posted in 1847, 1980, 1980 coup, 2017 presidential elections, 2018, 24th Liberian President, 25th Liberian president, Accra Comprehensive Peace Accord, ACS, African-American presidents, African-Americans, Afro-Americans, American Colonization Society, Americo-Liberian presidents, Americo-Liberians, April 12 1980, Charles Gyude Bryant, Charles Taylor, civil society organizations, Civil War(s) Liberia, Comprehensive Peace Agreement CPA 2003, decolonization, democratically elected indigenous president, elections, elections fraud, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, freed slaves, George Manneh Weah, George Weah, Gio, Gola, Grebo, indigenous presidents of Liberia, international soccer star, Jackson F. Doe, Krahn, Kru, Liberia, Liberia Colony, Liberian Action Party, Liberian History, military coup, Moses Blah, People's Redemption Council, PRC, President Hilary Richard Wright Johnson, Samuel Kanyon Doe, vote rigging | Leave a comment

‘Tribute to a fallen friend Stephen Byron Tarr, 1943 – 2017′

On October 7 an eminent scholar, an outspoken politician, but above all a dear friend, Dr. Stephen Byron Tarr, died after a prolonged illness in St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital in Monrovia. Dr. Byron Tarr was one of Liberia’s brightest economists. … Continue reading

Posted in 1943, 1972, 1974, 1977, 1980, 1986 Constitution, 2017, Africa Capacity Building Foundation, African Development Bank, African Union, Aimee Zeoweh Tarr, Amos Sawyer, April 12 1980, Byron Tarr, Center for Policy Studies/CERPS, Daily Observer, elections, elections fraud, Elections in Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Elwood Dunn, European Union, Famous Liberians, Grand Bassa County, Harry Greaves, IGNU, Jackson F. Doe, John T. Woods, Kenneth Best, LAP, Liberia, Liberia Action Party, Liberia: A National Polity in Transition, Liberian Action Party, Liberian History, military coup, Minister of Finance, Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs, Monrovia, Nah Doe Patrick Bropleh, National Constitution Commission, Phillip Tarr, PRC, Samuel Kanyon Doe, Sewanee University, Seymour Bruce Tarr, St. Joseph's Catholic Hospital Monrovia, Stanley Byron Tarr, Steve Tolbert, The Perspective, Tuan Wreh, United Nations Development Program, United States Agency for International Development, Vision 2030, vote rigging, William R. Tolbert Jr., World Bank, Zondo village | Leave a comment

A ‘Kru ring’ found in a thrift shop in the Netherlands

An extraordinary find Last week I received a letter from a fellow-Dutchman who lives in a remote region of the Netherlands. He wrote me that he had found a strange object in a local thrift shop. Attracted by its shape, … Continue reading

Posted in 'Dwin', 'Holland', 'tien', Arnoldus G., Brabant province, Culture, Europe, Fred J, garage sale, Germany, Gods of water, Grain Coast, Grebo, Grebo rings, Groningen province, Kru, Kru rings, Liberia, Liberian History, nitien, research, Scott Sheppard, shipyard, the Netherlands, thrift shop, US, water spirits, Winschoten | Leave a comment

Liberia’s 170th Independence Anniversary Calendar of Events

The following calendar of events in observance of Liberia’s 170th Independence Anniversary was originally published by FrontPage Africa, one of Liberia’s leading newspapers; click here for the original text plus background information on this year’s National Orator, Dr. Herman Browne, … Continue reading

Posted in 170th Independence Anniversary, 1847, AFL, Antoinette Tubman, Ashmun, Barclay Training Center, Bentol, Brewerville, C. Cecil Dennis, Centennial Memorial Pavilion, Cuttington University, Dr. Herman Browne, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Executive Pavilion, FrontPageAfrica newspaper, Independence Day, Independence Day Orator, July 26, Liberia, Liberian History, Monrovia, Monrovia City Hall, Montserrado County, National Orator IndependenceDay, Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, Paynesville, Samuel Kanyon Doe, University of Liberia, “Sustaining the Peace” | Leave a comment

“Who’s Running Liberia? Ask George Abi Jaoudi”

A few days ago one of Liberia’s leading newspapers, FrontPage Africa, published an interesting article entitled ‘Who’s running Liberia? Ask George Abi Jaoudi’. For three reasons, I like to share this article with you and I include here the link … Continue reading

Posted in 1980 coup, 2017 presidential elections, Abi Jaoudi, Alexander Cummings, ArcelorMittal, Benoni Urey, Charles Brumskine, Civil War(s) Liberia, Economic development, elections, Elections in Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Executive Mansion, FDI, freedom of association, freedom of speech, FrontPage Africa, George Abi Jaoudi, George Weah, Human Rights, Iron Lady, iron ore, Joseph Boakai, Justice, land grab, Lebanese in Liberia, Liberia" From the Love of Liberty to Paradise Lost, Mills Jones, National Elections Commission (NEC), oil palm plantation, Open Door Policy, press freedom, Press freedom in Liberia, Rodney Sieh, Sime Darby, Trias Politica, William V.S. Tubman | Leave a comment

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