Analysis Brief

Lighting up Liberia

Much attention surrounded the 2006 inauguration of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female head of state. After a year in office, there are promising signs of change in Liberia, but many challenges lie ahead.

See more in Nation Building; Liberia

Must Read

USIP: Liberia's Peacebuilding Effort: One Year after Transition

Authors: Dorina Bekoe and Christina Parajon

This report from the US Institute for Peace (USIP) details the first meeting of the Liberia Working Group, in November 2006. The Group was convened to address the major topics in Liberia's peacebuilding efforts, with a view to maintaining international interest, support, and engagement in Liberia to ensure a durable peace following the election of a democratic government led by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in November 2005. This briefing highlights the central points of the meeting and panelists' recommendations for the way forward: participants lauded Liberia for its efforts to reform the security sector, the establishment of the truth and reconciliation commission, and strong support from the United States. On the other hand, they raised concerns about the incomplete disarmament process, persistent bias in the media, lagging legal reform, and the continuing fragility of the sub-region.

See more in Liberia; Peacekeeping

Analysis Brief

Taylor Faces War Crimes Hearing

Former Liberian president and strongman Charles Taylor has been taken to Sierra Leone under UN custody to face war crimes proceedings. His case will be watched closely on a continent where predatory leaders are rarely held accountable for their crimes.

See more in Courts and Tribunals; Liberia


A Conversation with Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf [Rush Transcript; Federal News Service, Inc.]

Speaker: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
Presider: Princeton N. Lyman

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first democratically elected female head of state in Africa, discusses her historic victory, the challenges her country faces emerging from years of civil war, and the place of women in government, in a conversation with Princeton Lyman at the 2005-2006 David Rockefeller Lecture.

See more in Liberia; Presidents and Chiefs of State