Former Rebel Commander Describes The Structure Of The NPFL Rebel Group – 01 (Danokay Bwessa Jenya)

The First Liberian Civil War was an internal conflict in Liberia from 1989 until 1997. The conflict killed around 200,000 people and eventually led to the involvement of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and of the United Nations. The peace did not last long, and in 1999 the Second Liberian Civil War broke out.

Samuel Doe had led a rebellion that overthrew the elected government in 1980, and in 1985 held elections that were widely considered fraudulent. There had been one unsuccessful coup by a former military leader. In December 1989, former government minister Charles Taylor moved into the country from neighboring Ivory Coast to start an uprising meant to topple the Doe government.

Taylor’s forces, the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) battled with Prince Johnson’s rebel group, the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL) – a faction of NPFL – for control in Monrovia. In 1990, Johnson seized the capital of Monrovia and executed Doe brutally.

Peace negotiations and foreign involvement led to a ceasefire in 1995 that was broken the next year before a final peace agreement and new national elections were held in 1997. Taylor was elected President of Liberia in July 1997.
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