Liberia

Despite marked improvements, numerous grievances that plunged Liberia into bloody wars from 1989 until President Charles Taylor left in August 2003 (originally for exile in Nigeria) remain evident, says this briefing from the International Crisis Group. These include a polarised society and political system; corruption, nepotism and impunity.

Armed militants hostile to the Ivorian government have recruited Liberian children and carried out deadly cross-border raids on Ivorian villages in recent months, Human Rights Watch says. Liberian authorities have failed to investigate and prosecute dozens of Liberian and Ivorian nationals who crossed into Liberia after committing war crimes during Côte d’Ivoire’s 2010-2011 post-election crisis, some of whom have been implicated in the recent attacks, Human Rights Watch said.

Under mounting pressure, Liberia on Saturday announced it was closing its border with neighbouring Ivory Coast following a fatal attack on UN peacekeepers. Seven Nigerien UN peacekeepers died in the attack on Friday which also claimed the lives of eight civilians and an Ivorian soldier. Both the UN and the Ivorian government believe the attackers came from Liberia.

The Judges of Trial Chamber II on 30 May sentenced convicted former Liberian President Charles Ghankay Taylor to a term of 50 years in prison for planning and for aiding and abetting crimes committed by rebel forces in Sierra Leone during the country's decade-long civil war. The Trial Chamber, comprised of Justice Richard Lussick of Samoa (Presiding), Justice Teresa Doherty of Northern Ireland, and Justice Sebutinde of Uganda, unanimously imposed the single global sentence for all 11 counts o...read more

During almost 20 years of exile in Guinea, Joseph did not know if his family was alive or dead. When he recently found out by chance that they had survived the attack that caused him to flee his native Liberia, he decided he must go back. 'For the first time, I am eager to return home. I want to see my family,' said the 55-year-old fisherman, who is joining a growing number of Liberian refugees who are returning home with UNHCR help before they lose refugee status.

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