Charles Taylor: The Rise and Fall of Liberia’s Warlord

On Christmas Eve in 1989 a band of more than 150 insurgents crossed the border into northern Liberia from Côte d’Ivoire. They were members of a newly formed group, the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), headed by a Liberian exile, Charles Taylor.

These attacks, which launched a campaign to oust the dictatorship of President Samuel Doe, effectively triggered a war that brought the almost complete destruction of Africa’s oldest republic.

Charles Taylor, their leader, was a relatively obscure figure at the time, but he was to become West Africa’s most notorious warlord. He had the singular honor of starting a bloody civil war on Christmas Eve 1989 and subsequently winning both the presidential and parliamentary vote in an election declared free and fair by the international community.

His story involves power, conflict, and a legacy that has had an indelible impact not just on Liberia, but on the entire West African region.



Charles Taylor and Liberia: Ambition and Atrocity in Africa’s Lone Star State – Colin M Waugh

The State of Africa – Martin Meredith

Africa, A Modern History – Guy Arnold

Liberian History :



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