Category Archives: Civil War(s) Liberia

Gus Kouwenhoven on trial again – Dutch Supreme Court orders

Two years ago – on March 10, 2008 – I commented on the acquittal of Gus Kouwenhoven, also known as Guus van Kouwenhoven, a Dutch timber trader and business partner of Charles Taylor, accused of illegal arms trade for his … Continue reading

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April 12, 1980 – 2010

I can’t help but think of April 12, 1980 when the anniversary of Samuel Doe’s bloody coup d’état approaches. I happened to be in Monrovia on that historic day, en route to Burkina Faso, then still called Upper Volta, where … Continue reading

Posted in Charles Taylor, Civil War(s) Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Famous Liberians, Liberia, Liberian Economy, Liberian History, Samuel Kanyon Doe | Leave a comment

Controversial TRC report rocks Liberia

One week after the publication of its impressive final report, the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) is at the center of a political storm which only seems to intensify. Its findings and recommendations have surprised many – both inside and … Continue reading

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Face to face with Charles Taylor (Part 4)

(continued from April 8) Three high-ranking officers of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) – Sierra Leone’s rebel movement which terrorized the population of the West African republic from 1991 to 2002 – were sentenced yesterday in Freetown for crimes against … Continue reading

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Ellen: ‘I supported Taylor…’

(continued from April 7) Though the SCSL’s mandate is clear and very distinct from the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC), the two are often related in the case of Taylor’s activities. Three recent testimonies before the TRC are worth … Continue reading

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Face to face with Charles Taylor (Part 2)

(continued from April 6) It was to be expected that the defence would like to have all charges against former Liberian President Charles Taylor dismissed. His counsel, Mr Morris Anyah, argued in a lenghty submission that took all day (yesterday) … Continue reading

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The Special Court for Sierra Leone – Face to face with Charles Taylor (Part 1)

He was impeccably dressed, wearing a double-breasted suit, a blue-silver tie and shaded, gold-rimmed glasses, each hand decorated with a big golden ring. When former Liberian President Charles Taylor entered the court room at 9:25 A.M. this morning, he cordially … Continue reading

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Matilda Newport (1822) and the civil war

Today, December 1, I had to think of Matilda Newport, a Liberian heroine. Generations of Liberians of all walks of life and every possible background have grown up with ‘Matilda Newport’. For over a century, December 1 was celebrated as … Continue reading

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Nine Blogs and Three Books – The True Liberian Spirit

The civil war left more than 200,000 peope dead and made many more victims: wounded or disabled people, child-soldiers, orphans, who had to restart their lives, often struggling with a trauma caused by unforgettable cruelties. When President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf … Continue reading

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The definition of a Failed State

During the past week – while enjoying holidays in the quiet and attractive north-western part of Denmark, Jutland – I read the newspapers brought to our Liberia-get-together (see my July 6 posting). I found it both pleasant and frustrating to … Continue reading

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