Liberia's Post-War Development: Key Issues and U.S. Assistance
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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This report covers developments in Liberia, a small, poor West African country. Liberia held elections in October 2005, with a presidential runoff in November, a key step in a peace-building process following its second civil war in a decade. That war began in 1999, escalated in 2000, and ended in 2003. It pitted the forces of Charles Taylor, elected president in 1997 after Liberias first civil war 1989-1997, against two armed anti-Taylor rebel groups. The war also destabilized neighboring states, which accepted Liberian refugees and, in some cases, hosted anti-Taylor forces and became targets of the Taylor regime. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, an economist, won the presidential runoff vote with 59.4 of votes cast and took office in January 2006, becoming the first elected female president of an African country. Her runoff rival, George Weah, a former star soccer player, conceded Sirleafs win after initially contesting it. Most observers viewed the vote as orderly, free, and fair. It fulfilled a key goal of an August 2003 peace accord that had ended the second civil war and led to an ongoing, U.S.-aided post-war transition process, which is bolstered by the multifaceted peacekeeping and development-focused U.N. Mission in Liberia UNMIL. The next election is scheduled for 2011, and President Sirleaf has announced that she will seek reelection. Liberias security situation is stable but subject to periodic volatility. Progress in governance under the interim government that preceded that of President Sirleaf was mixed widespread corruption within it was widely reported. Liberias economy and state structures remain devastated by war but, along with humanitarian conditions, are improving. Liberia has received extensive U.S. post-war reconstruction and security sector reform assistance.
- Government and Political Science
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare