On April 26, 2012, the International Criminal Court convicted Liberia’s former president Charles Taylor for his role in the commission of crimes against humanity during the war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s. For Sierra Leone, this brought a dark chapter to a close — and for Liberia as well. From 1989 to 1990, Charles Taylor and Prince Johnson fought to overthrow then-president Samuel Doe. After Johnson captured and killed Doe (sipping a Budweiser as he chopped off his ears), he and Taylor fought a bloody war for control of Monrovia. Taylor eventually took power, but the country was plunged into a civil war that lasted until 2003 when peacekeepers were deployed and Taylor was exiled to Nigeria.
The period of August—December 2010 was a very political season in Uganda, with the NRM (National Resistance Movement) primaries in August, the nomination of presidential candidates in October, followed by the beginning of the campaigns for the February 2011 elections. Thus, as could be expected, there was a sharp increase in reports coming from the UNLocK participants relating to political factors. Whereas in the previous five months there were relatively few reports relating to state legitimacy, this issue, particularly incidents of corruption and election irregularities, were reported frequently by participants from August to December.
Published March 8, 2011 | By Joelle Burbank
Elections are important for the renewal of the social contract between the people and their government. But that process of renewal can be rocky, as was vividly illustrated in Côte d’Ivoire in late 2010. In light of how difficult elections can be, the Fund for Peace has been working with civil society in Nigeria, Liberia, and Uganda for improved local capacity in communication and conducting situational assessments in the run-up to 2011 elections. The Ugandan election took place on February 18, the Liberian election is scheduled for October, and the Nigerian election is scheduled for April, 2011. This report, the latest in a series of reports on Liberia, analyses events in the country during 2010 and examines some of the challenges that face Liberia in the lead-up to the 2011 presidential elections.
During the period covered by this report (August-November 2010) the election season was getting under way. This report compiles the incidents and issues documented by civil society in the UNLocK Nigeria early warning network, with a particular focus on the state and local levels in the Niger Delta region. According to these incident reports, candidates reportedly engaged in intimidation against their opponents; candidates and their family member were kidnapped or killed; criminal and vigilante elements were reportedly co-opted or recruited for political reasons; officials were accused of corruption; the government’s rebel amnesty program continued to falter due in part to ambiguity and controversy over who is eligible to participate; floods destroyed homes and poverty.