Referring to the chaotic situation of the civilian population, a peacekeeping force consisting of Nigerian soldiers and North American Marines entered the country in August. On August 11, Taylor handed over power to his vice president, Moses Blah, and left the country for asylum in Nigeria – though many African countries thought he should be extradited to Sierra Leone, where he was charged with war crimes. He left $ 100m. According to Countryaah, US $ of his personal wealth and one of the poorest countries in the world. In Ghana, the LURD signed a peace agreement.
In September, the UN created the UNMIL force of 15,000 peacekeeping troops from predominantly Africa and Asia. They must guarantee that humanitarian aid can reach the return of 700,000 refugees in neighboring countries and 450,000 internally displaced persons. They must also ensure that water, electricity and sewerage systems work again, that education and health care get back on track, that wages are not paid and that the unemployment rate of 85% is combated. The 40,000 soldiers from the rebel army and the military – including 15,000 children – must be disarmed, educated and reintegrated into the community.
Peace talks between LURD, the backward government and the other major rebel movement MODEL led to an agreement in which compromise candidate Gyude Bryant was named president from October 14, 2003 until democratic elections in 2005. Meanwhile, the UN is building its 15,000-man peace force to ensure the fragile truce.
On October 14, 2003, businessman Gyude Bryant was appointed president. He was considered sufficiently neutral to lead a reconciliation government until the October 2005 elections.
In September 2004, UNHCR initiated the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Sierre Leone, Ghana, Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire to their areas of origin in Liberia. In Guinea alone, there were about 150,000 refugees. The UNHCR itself made it known that upon their return, the refugees would face a land in ruins, destroyed houses, too few jobs and very few resources to be reintegrated into the community. The UN peacekeeping forces in the country had already initiated the disarmament of the many thousands of soldiers in the cities, although it was not yet decided whether a similar disarmament should be implemented in the rural areas. Over 80,000 soldiers and irregular troops were disarmed.
After signing an agreement in September 2005 that allows the country’s economy to be monitored by the international community – aimed at curbing corruption – the first election since the Civil War was made in October. In the first round of elections, George Weah got the most votes, followed by Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. The second round was characterized by international election observers as “free and fair,” but Weah and his supporters claimed election fraud when it was announced that Johnson-Sirleaf, with 59.4% of the vote, had won the election. She thus became the continent’s first female president. After the victory, the new president declared that there was now an opportunity to “show the continent that women can govern, and to help my country rise from the brutal conflicts”. Johnson-Sirleaf was posted to the post in January 2006.
The Thruth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia was set up by the President in February 2006 to investigate – in the President’s words – the “grave human rights violations and international laws” committed during the 1979-2003 civil war. In April 2006, President Taylor was extradited from Nigeria to be prosecuted for at least 17 charges of human rights abuses during the armed conflict.
In June 2007, Ombudsman John Morlu stated that “this government is at least three times more corrupt than its predecessor”. The charges were characterized by the government as “unfair and unjustified”. Since her accession, Johnston-Sirleaf had assured that her government would never allow corruption.
In July, Charles Taylor was placed before the War Criminal Court in The Hague for the first time.
Liberia has traditionally had a close relationship with the United States, and in 2008 Sirleaf offered that the United States could place the headquarters of its AFRICOM (Africa Command) force in Liberia. She was the only African leader to make such an offer. In the end, though, the United States placed its headquarters in Stuttgart.
- Follow abbreviationfinder to see what is the meaning of LR in geography. It can stand for Liberia. Click this site to see other possible meanings of this acronym.
After three years of hearings in July 2009, the Reconciliation Commission issued its final report. The Commission included Sirleaf on a list of 50 names that “must be precluded from holding public office – elected or appointed – for a period of 30 years, due to their association with the former warring factions”. On July 26, Sirleaf apologized to Liberia for supporting Charles Taylor, or stated that, “when Mr. Taylor’s true intentions emerged, there was no more passionate opponent of him than she ». On 28 August, the Liberian Parliament announced that it “must consult our voters” in one year to decide whether to implement the Commission’s recommendations. In January 2011, the Supreme Court ruled in another case that the Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations contravened the Constitution and should therefore be ignored.