Liberia: Transition to Peace

CRS Report for Congress
Liberia: Transition to Peace
Updated October 28, 2004
Nicolas Cook
Analyst in African Affairs
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division

Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress

Liberia: Transition to Peace
This report, which is updated periodically, covers recent events in Liberia and
related U.S. policy. In 2003, Liberia began a post-conflict transition process to
achieve enduring peace, socio-economic reconstruction and democratic governance.
This process resulted from the signing of a peace accord and the resignation of
then-president Charles Taylor in August 2003, after months of international
mediation. The accord ended a civil war that burgeoned in 2000 which pitted the
forces of Taylor against two armed anti-Taylor rebel groups. The war led to an
extreme deterioration in political, economic, humanitarian, and human rights
conditions in Liberia. It also affected neighboring states, from which anti-Taylor
forces operated; against which the Taylor regime sponsored acts of armed aggression;
and in which large numbers of Liberians sought refuge.
Liberia’s security situation, though periodically volatile, has improved steadily
since August 2003. A disarmament and demobilization program, which encountered
repeated initial difficulties, has inducted over 95,000 ex-combatants to date. This
process is jointly supervised by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and
the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), which received over $522
million in aid pledges at a February 2004 donor conference. UNMIL began
operations on October 1, 2003. The NTGL, formed under the August accord and
installed on October 14, 2003, is mandated with re-establishing government authority
and preparing for elections in late 2005. The transition faces many challenges, most
related to the socio-economic effects of war; the dominant role within the NTGL of
former armed factions, which are prone to internal dissension; and limited state
capacities. UNMIL has reached full force strength, and has deployed peacekeepers
to most areas of the country, but insecurity remains a challenge in many rural areas.
Implementation of the peace accord and of the NTGL’s mandate have been beset by
disagreements over the allocation of positions, accusations of corruption, and
leadership rivalries within the NTGL. The legal status of Taylor, who is living in
exile in Nigeria and is under indictment by the Special Court for Sierra Leone for war
crimes related to his alleged involvement in war crimes in Sierra Leone, remains
unresolved. U.S. legislation urges Nigeria to hand Taylor over to the court.
Considerable public and congressional debate over possible U.S. intervention
in Liberia occurred in mid-2003. The United States did not intervene militarily, but
it did: deploy limited military forces to Liberia to bolster U.S. security interests;
assist an the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) military
force to deploy to Liberia prior to UNMIL; help mediate the August accord; and
provide International Disaster and Famine Assistance (IDFA) ($200 million) and
support for UNMIL ($250 million). In addition to H.R. 4818, the Foreign Operations
FY2005 Appropriations bill, current Liberia-related bills pertain to proposals to
change the immigration status of certain Liberian nationals and to cancel certain
Liberian national debts. Liberia-related bills introduced in the 108th Congress include
H.Con.Res. 240; H.Con.Res. 233; H.Con.Res. 255; H.J.Res. 2; H.R. 2673; H.R.

1930; H.R. 3918; H.R. 3289; H.R. 2800; H.R.4511; H.R. 4793; H.R. 4818; H.R.

4885; S. 2812; S. 1426; and S. 656.

Overview and Recent Developments...................................1
U.S.-Backed Peace and Transitional Process.........................1
Donor Assistance..........................................1
U.S. Supplemental Appropriation.............................2
U.N. Mission and Transitional Government.....................2
Peace Accord.............................................2
Key Turning Points........................................3
Liberia’s Conflict: Background.......................................4
Actors and Patterns in Liberia’s Conflict............................4
Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD).......4
MODEL .................................................5
Pattern of Conflict.........................................6
Rebel Gains..............................................6
Decline of Conflict.........................................6
Effects of Conflict.............................................7
Political Conditions........................................7
Human Rights Conditions...................................7
Humanitarian Conditions....................................8
International Dimensions of Liberia’s Conflict...........................9
Regional Effects...............................................9
Persistent Regional Threat...................................9
Guinea and Liberia.........................................9
Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia...................................10
International Responses........................................11
United Nations...............................................11
U.N. Security Council Sanctions.............................11
U.N. and ECOWAS.......................................13
U.N. Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)............................13
Current Situation.................................................15
National Recovery............................................15
Current Humanitarian Situation..............................15
Nutrition ................................................16
Resettlement .............................................16
Education ...............................................16
General Economic Recovery................................17
Re-establishment of State Institutions.........................17
Transparency ............................................19
Reforms in the Security and Legal Sectors.....................20
Security Issues...............................................21
UNMIL Deployment......................................21
Security Situation.........................................21
Intra-Factional Tensions...................................21
Peace Accord Implementation...................................23
NTGL Posts.............................................23

(DDRR) ............................................24
Disarmament Challenges...................................25
Child Soldiers...........................................26
Elections ....................................................26
Status of Charles Taylor........................................29
Taylor Indictment.........................................29
Indictment: Implications and Asylum Offer....................29
Nigeria .................................................30
Status of SCSL Case Against Taylor..........................31
Asylum: Debate and Implications............................32
Pressure on Nigeria.......................................32
U.S. Law and Taylor......................................32
U.S. Policy......................................................33
Responses to Increasing Conflict.............................34
Embassy Attacks.........................................34
Conflict Resolution Efforts.................................34
U.S. Intervention in Liberia: Debate and Policy Responses............35
Perspectives on Intervention................................35
Initial U.S. Responses.....................................35
Humanitarian Assessment and Security Team...................36
Military Assistance and Monitoring..........................36
Joint Task Force Liberia...................................37
U.S. Assistance: Development Assistance..........................37
U.S. Emergency and Post-War Assistance.........................38
Current U.S. Assistance Programs................................39
Key Issues..............................................39
Other Aspects of U.S. Policy toward Liberia....................43
Murder of U.S. Official....................................43
Congressional Role...........................................43
Legislation ..................................................44
Current Appropriations....................................44
2003 Iraq Supplemental Assistance for Liberia..................45
Other Enacted Legislation..................................45
Other Legislation Introduced................................45
Issues for Congress...........................................47
Peace Consolidation and Reconstruction.......................47
Trial of Charles Taylor.....................................47
Democracy and Governance................................48
U.S. Assistance..........................................48
Appendix 1: U.S. Assistance Trends.................................49
Appendix 2: Acronyms and Terms Used in this Report...................51

Table 1. U.S. Assistance for Liberia: IDFA, Phase I.....................40
Table 2. U.S. Assistance for Liberia: IDFA, Phase II.....................42
Table 3. U.S. Emergency and Humanitarian Assistance to Liberia,
FY2002-FY2004 .............................................49
Table 4. Recent U.S. Bilateral Development Assistance to Liberia..........50
Table 5. P.L. 108-106 Supplemental U.S. Assistance for Liberia, FY2004....50

Liberia: Transition to Peace
Overview and Recent Developments
In August 2003, a political accord was signed that formally ended over three and
one-half years of armed civil conflict in Liberia, a small West African country of
about 3.3 million people. Since that time, the country has made steady progress
toward consolidating peace, initiating post-war resettlement and socio-economic
reconstruction, and establishing functional interim state institutions. Despite such
progress, there are indications that these and other related goals — such as the
conduct of credible and transparent democratic elections, the creation of a durably
transparent and effective governance regime, and a transition from reconstruction to
long-term economic growth — face diverse and substantial obstacles.
U.S.-Backed Peace and Transitional Process
Donor Assistance. Liberia’s progress has been aided, in part, by
international donors, including the United States, which held a pledging conference
for Liberia in New York on February 5-6, 2004. At the conference, donors pledged
over $522 million in relief and reconstruction assistance for Liberia; $200 million of1
this amount was pledged by the United States. The donor conference, attended by
representatives of 96 countries and 45 public and private organizations, reviewed the
plans of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) for a post-conflict
transition, as well as progress toward implementation of a peace accord signed in
August 2003. It also received an update on the activities and views of the United
Nations (U.N.) Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and considered a program of assistance
organized around a “Results-Focused Transition Framework” centering on
reconstruction and rehabilitation activities in 2004 and 2005. The framework’s main
elements, which underpin the efforts of the multiple functional U.N. agencies and
many of the non-governmental organizations that are active in Liberia, include the
!Security maintenance, demobilization and reintegration,
development of democratic governance and the rule of law, police
training and reform, and elections;
!Protection of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs),
advocacy for human and gender-based rights, combating HIV/AIDS;

1 Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, “Remarks to the International Reconstruction
Conference on Liberia,” U.N. Headquarters, New York City, Feb. 6, 2004; Jim
Fisher-Thompson, “U.S. to Pledge $200 Million to Liberia for Reconstruction, Says USAID
Chief,” Washington File, Feb. 4, 2004; and World Bank, “Liberia: International
Reconstruction Conference, 5-6 February 2004,” Summary Pledge Sheet.

!Provision of basic services, including water, sanitation, health care,
and education, and related services;
!Economic development policy strategy and restoration of productive
capacity and livelihoods; and
!Reconstruction of infrastructure, e.g., electricity, transport,
telecommunications, and housing.
U.S. Supplemental Appropriation. The donor conference followed
President Bush’s November 6, 2003, signing into law of the Emergency
Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense and for the Reconstruction of Iraq and
Afghanistan, 2004, P.L. 108-106. It provided $245 million for assessed costs of
United Nations (U.N.) peacekeeping operations in Liberia, and up to $205.5 million2
for peace, humanitarian disaster, and famine assistance for Liberia.
U.N. Mission and Transitional Government. The authorization of
sharply increased U.S. assistance to Liberia followed the deployment on October 1,

2003 of UNMIL, authorized by the U.N. Security Council on September 19, 2003,

and the establishment of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL).
The NTGL, inaugurated on October 14, 2003, was formed in accordance with a peace
agreement signed in Accra, Ghana, which formally ended the Liberian conflict. The
NTGL is led by Gyude (Joo-deh) Bryant, a businessman and Episcopal church
layman of ethnic Grebo descent, who leads the Liberian Action Party. As head of
state, Bryant occupies the office of chairman, a post designated in the August 2003
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (hereafter labeled the CPA), as the top executive
NTGL position in order to emphasize the transitory nature of the NTGL and to
forebear the naming of a president prior to elections. The NTGL vice-chairman is
Wesley Johnson, a university economics lecturer who heads the Liberian United
Peoples’ Party.
Peace Accord. The signing of the CPA on August 18, 2003 followed two and
a half months of negotiations mediated by the Economic Community of West African3
States (ECOWAS) and the International Contact Group on Liberia (ICGL). Its
signatories include the armed parties in Liberia’s conflict and Liberia’s leading
political parties and civil society groups. The armed parties included the forces of
Liberia’s former president, Charles Taylor, and two armed anti-Taylor rebel groups,

2 $200 million in International Disaster and Famine Assistance (IDFA) account funds were
appropriated for Liberia in various sections of P.L. 108-106 and in the Joint Explanatory
Statement of the Committee of Conference that accompanied the enrolled bill. The act,
however, also included language (“and by transfer not to exceed 0.5 percent of the funds
appropriated under any other heading in this chapter”) that indicates that up to an additional
$5.5 million was potentially allocated for Liberia and/or Sudan. The IDFA account funds
relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction assistance to victims of natural and man-made
disasters, and combines the former International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account and a
previously proposed Famine Fund. IDFA allocations are designed to complement other
bilateral assistance programs, particularly in countries affected by complex emergencies.
3 The ICGL is a body formed in September 2002 by key donor and regional states to
coordinate a comprehensive, regionally-focused conflict resolution process.

Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and the Movement for
Democracy in Liberia (MODEL).
The accord provides for disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and
reintegration (DDRR) programs and a peace-building process in Liberia. It mandates
that the NTGL implement a largely failed June 17, 2003 cease-fire agreement;4
monitor and coordinate the DDRR process, with international assistance, as well as
a range of other political and reconstruction programs; and assist in the preparation
and conduct of internationally supervised elections in October 2005.5 Other key
provisions of the accord include
!The stipulated establishment of various political processes, legal
authorities, mandates, and bodies, including an Implementation
Monitoring Committee (IMC) and a National Commission for
Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration
(NCDDRR) to implement the peace accord, and a timetable for this
!Military and police restructuring;
!Release of political prisoners and prisoners of war;
!The apportionment of key government leadership positions among
accord signatories;
!“Consideration” of “a recommendation for general amnesty to all
persons and parties engaged or involved in military activities during
the Liberian civil conflict”;
!Naming of a new supreme court; and
!The creation of a Contracts and Monopolies Commission (CMC), a
Governance Reform Commission (GRC), an Independent National
Commission on Human Rights (INCHR), a National Electoral
Commission (NEC), a National Transitional Legislative Assembly
(NTLA), and a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
Key Turning Points. The signing of the peace accord was preceded by two
key events: the departure from Liberia on August 11, 2003 of Charles Taylor, who
resigned from the presidency and went into exile in Nigeria after accepting an offer
of political asylum from its government; and the deployment by ECOWAS of a
military intervention force known as the ECOWAS Mission in Liberia (ECOMIL).

4 Key provisions of the cease-fire agreement were not implemented until after the CPA was
signed. The cease-fire was extensively and repeatedly violated by the three belligerent
groups during negotiations leading to the accord. Two cease-fire monitoring bodies called
for under the cease-fire agreement did not deploy until after the CPA was signed. The Joint
Verification Team, formed in early July 2003, did not deploy to Liberia because of a fluid
military situation and lack of a cease-fire, and due to organizational and technical hurdles.
The Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC), was not formed until September 2003. Cease-fire
violations included three massive assaults by LURD on the capital, Monrovia, each resulting
in hundreds of civilian casualties, and government-rebel battles in multiple locations in
Liberia’s interior.
5 The June and August agreements are available online from the U.S. Institute of Peace. See
[ ].

The departure of Taylor, elected Liberia’s president in 1997 after its first civil
war (1989-1997), followed intense international pressure on him to leave Liberia, as
he had publicly pledged to do on June 4, 2003. After Taylor’s departure, the vice
president, Moses Blah, assumed the presidency as head of a caretaker government,
pending the swearing in of the NTGL. Several developments appear to have
motivated Taylor’s decision to leave. These include the possibility that if he did not
accept Nigeria’s asylum offer, he would have faced immediate extradition to Sierra
Leone to answer international war crimes charges (see below); continuing military
gains by LURD and MODEL; and LURD’s refusal to engage in serious conflict
resolution efforts while Taylor remained in office. His departure appears to have
been a key factor motivating LURD and MODEL to agree to the CPA.
The ECOWAS intervention sought to end heavy fighting and alleviate a
worsening humanitarian crisis in the wake of the failed June 17 cease-fire. ECOMIL
was mandated with monitoring and securing the cease-fire, enabling the delivery of
relief aid, and preparing the way for UNMIL. Lead elements of ECOMIL,
predominantly comprised of a Nigerian battalion that had been serving with the U.N.
Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), began deploying to Liberia on August 4, 2003.
An additional Nigerian battalion, one of several West African forces trained under
Operation Focus Relief,6 and troops from Mali, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau,
Togo, Ghana, and Benin, continued to arrive throughout August and into September

2003. ECOMIL, which reached a full force strength of over 3,560 members by mid-

September, deployed with the aid of extensive U.S. and U.N. assistance. The United
States provided logistical and transport services, communications equipment, and
other supplies worth $26 million in funds drawn from U.S. peacekeeping operations
accounts. This assistance was delivered primarily by PAE Government Services,
Inc., a military logistics services firm that had previously supported ECOWAS forces
in Liberia and Sierra Leone, in liaison with elements of the U.S. military Joint Task
Force Liberia (see below).
Liberia’s Conflict: Background
Actors and Patterns in Liberia’s Conflict
Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD).7
Liberia’s recent conflict, the second in a decade, began when LURD launched a
series of cross-border raids into Liberia’s northwestern Lofa County in mid-year

2000, reportedly from nearby bases in southern Guinea. These actions resembled

6 Operation Focus Relief (OFR) was a one-time U.S. military training program that provided
“robust” infantry operational combat training and equipment to troops from Nigeria, Ghana
and Senegal in anticipation of their possible deployment with UNAMSIL. At the time of
the training, in 2001, Sierra Leone was emerging from conflict, but was seen as subject to
a possible military threat from the now defunct rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in
Sierra Leone. OFR cost between an estimated $86.75 million and $87.53 million.
7 Liberia’s first civil war, past developments, and U.S.-Liberian relations are covered in CRS
Report RL30933, Liberia: 1989-1997 Civil War, Post-War Developments, and U.S.

several similar, but abortive, attacks launched in 1999, likely by fighters who later
formed LURD, which began to coalesce in mid-1999. It was initially primarily
comprised of Liberians living in Sierra Leone and Guinea as exiles and refugees.8
LURD’s nominal leader, Sekou Damate Conneh, is a former Liberian tax collector
of Mandingo heritage who fled to Guinea in 1990. He later worked as an auto trader
and businessman, and was imprisoned after returning to Liberia in 1997; he later
again fled to Guinea. Conneh reportedly has close relations with the authorities in
Conakry, but these appear to have been mediated, in part, by his wife, Aisha Keita-
Conneh, who is reportedly a personal advisor to Conté, including on spiritual matters.
Differences between the couple, discussed below, contributed to internal rifts within
MODEL. The formation of LURD was motivated by its members’ mutual
opposition to what they viewed as a persistent pattern of ethnic bias, political
exclusion, human rights abuses, and corruption under Taylor. LURD’s ethnically
diverse make-up reflected the commonality of such views across ethnic lines. Such
shared views were not strong enough, however, to permanently overcome parochial
self interests, leadership rivalries, and a history of competition between the two
ethnic groups, the Mandingo and the Krahn, that initially formed the bulk of LURD’s
membership. In early 2003, such issues prompted some of its Krahn members to9
depart LURD and form MODEL.
MODEL appears to have been formed as the result of a merger between LURD
members based in the west of Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia’s neighbor, and Force Lima, a
militia based in the same area. Force Lima was formed in late 2002 to counter
Liberian militias — reportedly backed by the Taylor government — that entered the
Cote d’Ivoire in support of two Ivorian rebel groups that in November 2002 had
taken up arms against the Ivorian government of President Laurent Gbagbo. Many
of Force Lima’s recruits were anti-Taylor Liberian Krahn refugees who had lived for
extended periods in western Cote d’Ivoire, which is the traditional homeland of the
Guere, an Ivorian ethnic group closely related to the Krahn by culture and language.
Force Lima, and later MODEL, were reportedly backed by the Gbagbo government,
which dismissed such allegations, and its supporters.

8 LURD and MODEL have been the subject of numerous press accounts, and U.N. and non-
governmental organization reports. In particular, see James Brabazon, “Liberia: Liberians
United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD),” Armed Non-State Actors Project
Briefing Paper No. 1, Royal Institute of International Affairs, Feb. 2003; International Crisis
Group (ICG),”Liberia: The Key To Ending Regional Instability,” Africa Report No. 43, Apr.

24, 2002; and ICG, “Tackling Liberia: The Eye of the Regional Storm,” Africa Report No.

62, Apr. 30, 2003. The latter also discusses MODEL in depth.

9 The LURD-MODEL split closely mirrored the division of the United Liberation Movement
of Liberia (ULIMO), a defunct, predominantly Mandingo and Krahn faction from Liberia’s
first civil war to which many LURD fighters had belonged. In 1993, ULIMO split into
ULIMO-K, a Mandingo-dominated faction, and ULIMO-J, a predominantly Krahn group.
The similar organizational evolution of LURD and ULIMO suggests that ethnicity will
likely continue to function as a key organizing principle, both for exclusionary purposes and
in alliance building, shaping political competition for control of state resources and power.

Despite the emergence of MODEL as a LURD splinter group, there remained
linkages between the two organizations. They reportedly shared some common
sources of financial support, and some members were affiliated with both groups,
which shared a common foe and did not militarily oppose one another. In addition
to such commonalities, both groups have faced internal divisions, and both are seen
as susceptible to further fissures, particularly due to by rank-and-file members’
resentment of their leaders’ actual or perceived access to state resources and the perks
of state office, which some hold as officials of the NTGL.
Pattern of Conflict. After the first LURD attacks in 2000, the armed rebel
campaign, though episodic and seasonal, grew both in its geographic extent and
military intensity. Initially concentrated in Lofa, hostilities gradually spread south
and then to central Liberia, as LURD launched operations further afield, including
attacks near to the capital, Monrovia. By late 2002, many western and central
Liberian towns had been the site of combat or had experienced indirect effects of
war, such as influxes of displaced persons, the activities of armed elements, and the
negative impact on daily life and economic activities of generally rising insecurity.
As the conflict grew, rebel forces gradually seized more territory and held it for
increasingly long periods, notably in 2003, but the military situation was often fluid.
Belligerents’ territorial control was limited and transitory. Fighting often focused on
provisioning, looting, and harassment raids, and often targeted displaced persons’
camps, rural industries, and towns along Liberia’s rudimentary road network.
Marginal changes in variables, such as access to arms materiél, provisions, or
manpower, often shifted the tactical balance between forces, which were often poorly
trained, lacking in discipline, and frequently prone to arbitrary behavior. All of the
armed groups recruited large numbers of children and adolescents, and heavy use of
drugs, alcohol, and other intoxicants was, and likely remains, common among
Liberian combatants.10
Rebel Gains. In early 2003, MODEL moved into eastern Liberia from the
areas in Cote d’Ivoire near the Liberian border. It soon made significant military in-
roads there, and over the next few months expanded its area of operations,
successfully seizing territory and many towns in Liberia’ eastern counties and along
the coast.11 In April 2003, an ECOWAS assessment team reported that LURD and
MODEL together controlled about 60% of Liberian territory. Rebel gains continued.
LURD launched three intense assaults on the capital, two in June and one in late July.
Monrovians dubbed these “World War” “I,” “II,” and “III” because of the
indiscriminate use of mortars and other projectiles during the fighting, and due to the
high civilian casualty rate that resulted.
Decline of Conflict. Periodic fighting continued following the deployment
of ECOMIL, and persisted after the signing of the CPA and the subsequent
deployment of UNMIL in early October 2004. It gradually decreased in scope and
frequency, however, as peacekeepers expanded their areas of deployment. Fighting

10 Agence France Presse, “Liberian Ex-fighters Given Little Help to Kick Drugs Habit,” Oct.

27, 2004, among others.

11 In late May 2003, a small anti-MODEL militia, the Grebo Defense Force, reportedly
emerged in southeastern Liberia. It has since been inactive, and may no longer exist.

following the CPA appeared to have been motivated by looting opportunities —
particularly in contested zones — and by the belligerents’ attempts to consolidate or
extend control over territory and weaken their foes prior to the further deployment
of peacekeepers.12 Another factor motivating the continued use of arms was the
apparent reticence of the armed groups’ leaders to participate in disarmament before
their political demands, primarily relating to the allocation of government positions,
were met — despite having signed and repeatedly publicly endorsed the peace
Effects of Conflict
Political Conditions. As the LURD insurgency burgeoned, political
conditions deteriorated, and the Taylor government began to curtail political
activities. In early 2002, it imposed a state of emergency and, separately, a ban on
political activities and gatherings.13 These actions, which remained in effect until
September 2002, reflected Taylor’s persistent intolerance of political opposition.
Under his leadership, foreign observers and many Liberians assert, opposition parties
were harassed and their activities curtailed. U.S. Ambassador to Liberia John W.
Blaney, like many Liberian and foreign observers, charged that opposition parties
were harassed, their activities curtailed, and that presidential candidate eligibility
restrictions, including lengthy domestic residency requirements, were likely to limit14
electoral competition in general elections then slated to be held in October 2003.
Opposition parties charged that the Electoral Commission, which regulated elections
law and administration, was controlled by partisans of Taylor’s ruling National
Patriotic Party (NPP), and that a range of proposed electoral code reforms were likely
create outcomes favorable to the NPP. Such concerns prompted repeated domestic
and international calls for elections to be postponed, but the government insisted until
early May 2003 that credible elections could and would be held in mid-October 2003,
as scheduled. In May 2003, as rebels gains continued, the Taylor government
indicated that it might accept a 12 to 18 month election deferral, if a constitutionally
valid term extension “framework” could be crafted.15
Human Rights Conditions. As restrictions on political activities increased,
a rising number of security operations and attendant human rights abuses were

12 The north-central county of Nimba, Charles Taylor’s base of operations during the first
civil war, and the central county of Bong were focal points for continuing clashes.
13 Associated Press, “Liberia declares state of emergency, says fighting neared capital,” Feb.

8, 2002; Associated Press, “Liberian President Suspends Political Activity,” Apr. 30, 2002;

and BBC News, “Liberia ends state of emergency,” Sept. 14, 2002, among others.
14 U.N. Integrated Regional Information Networks [IRIN], “US Will Not Recognise
‘Fraudulent Elections’,” Jan. 6, 2003; Jonathan Paye-Layleh, “Liberia Sets Oct. 14 General
Elections,” Associated Press, Jan. 2, 2003; and Terence Sesay, “Liberia Announces October
Elections, Rules out Foreign ‘Supervision’,” Agence France-Presse, Jan. 2, 2003.
15 Matthew Tostevin, “War-ruined Liberia May Postpone October Elections,” Reuters, May
1, 2003. In February 2003, the Liberian Supreme Court dismissed a case requesting an
election delay filed by IDPs from three war-affected counties. They alleged that the conflict
would undermine election rules and deprive citizens of their right to register and vote in
their home districts. See IRIN, “Liberia: Court Dismisses Elections Case,” Feb. 22, 2003.

reported. Persons viewed by state security forces as dissidents or rebel supporters,
particularly ex-fighters and members of certain ethnic groups, were detained and
harassed, often violently, during raids in urban areas and camps for internally
displaced persons (IDPs). Many detainees were released relatively quickly,
sometimes after beatings and or bribing of arresting agents; a smaller number were
held for longer periods. Theft and extortion by security forces, frequently linked to
lack of combatant pay, reportedly became frequent, as did the impressment of youths
into military service.
In war-affected areas, reports of more numerous and severe abuses against
civilians were common. Human rights and other groups assert that both government
and rebel forces have carried out executions, beatings, torture, and other abuses
against civilians, including rape, and abduction for purposes of forced labor. The
same actors were accused of looting and burning towns and IDP camps, causing
further internal dislocation. Both rebel and state forces periodically issued summary
judgments and sanctions, often violent, against those within their own ranks accused
of looting and other crimes. During the LURD assaults on Monrovia in June and
July 2003, government military forces were reportedly particularly abusive and
violently exploitative. Widespread abuses continued in combat zones after the
signing of the CPA, notably in September 2003, and following the deployment of
UNMIL, though at a gradually decreasing rate.
Humanitarian Conditions. The spread of hostilities caused already poor
humanitarian and economic conditions in much of Liberia to deteriorate sharply,
particularly in late 2002 and 2003. Even where relief aid could be delivered, needs
often outstripped available supplies. IDP camps in Liberia were typically
overcrowded and affected by severe resource constraints. The U.N. Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported in May 2003 that in camps
“minimum standards of assistance are not met, and there are major gaps with regard
to the provision of food, safe water and sanitation, health and education services as
well as protection.” Humanitarian assistance increasingly became the target of raids
by the armed groups. IDP camps were violently assaulted and their residents forced
to flee, abandoning food allocations that combatants then seized.
By April/May 2003 humanitarian relief agencies were unable to provide
emergency assistance in 11 of Liberia’s 15 counties due to combat and related
insecurity. Subsequently, such organizations lost access to nearly all of Liberia; all
but a few withdrew entirely from Liberia for extended periods from June through
August 2003. Three major attacks on Monrovia in June and July caused IDPs to flee
to central Monrovia, causing a dramatic and extensive worsening of humanitarian
conditions. By August, over 300,000 displaced persons were living in or near
Monrovia. Food stocks ran extremely low, and food price inflation rose sharply, as
did cases of malnutrition, notably among children. Access to potable water decreased
due to contamination and overcrowding, and outbreaks of respiratory and stomach
disease, including cholera, occurred. Such conditions were aggravated by the
extensive violence that characterized the fighting in Monrovia. Civilians were
robbed and abused by combatants, hundreds of victims of gunshot and shrapnel were
admitted to hospitals, and several hundred bodies were collected from streets during
and after each major military assault. The belligerents also stole numerous vehicles
from relief groups and looted humanitarian supply warehouses. As of

mid-September 2003, fighting had internally displaced about 500,000 Liberians, and
about 311,000 were refugees to neighboring countries as of October/November.16
Thousands of IDPs and refugees from other countries remained in areas of Liberia
that continued to be largely inaccessible to relief agencies until several months after
the peace accord.
International Dimensions of Liberia’s Conflict
Regional Effects
Persistent Regional Threat. For nearly a decade and a half prior to the
August 2003 peace accord, cycles of conflict in Liberia generated a range of effects
that undermined the national security, political stability, and economic prosperity of
its neighbors, and brought about negative repercussions in the wider sub-region.
Among the most serious of such effects — which continue to threaten Liberia’s
neighbors — include the spread of small arms; the diffusion of violence-based social
norms, often with commercial underpinnings; an increasing amount of mercenary
activity in the region; the deployment of diverse, often state-assisted rebel groups
along regional borders; a rise in human rights abuses; and the creation of aggrieved
refugee and internally displaced populations. A variety of fighters allied with
Taylor’s 1989-1997 civil war faction or, after his election, with the Liberian17
government, participated in the Sierra Leonean civil war (1991-2002); in fighting
in southern Guinea in 2000-2001; and in Cote d’Ivoire in late 2002 and 2003.
Guinea and Liberia. Taylor’s government and that of Lansana Conté,
Guinea’s president, maintained poor, highly antagonistic relations. Conté bitterly
opposed Taylor, and each government regularly accused the other of sponsoring
aggression against it. During and after the first Liberian civil war, many factional
opponents of Taylor and civilians — many from ethnic groups, notably the
Mandingo, who feared mistreatment by the Taylor government — sought refuge in
Guinea. LURD, which grew out of this exile milieu, allegedly received support from
the government of Guinea, beginning around the time of its inception. LURD
fighters later assisted the Guinean government to defeat a series of attacks on towns
and villages in southern Guinea carried out between September 2000 and early 2001
by a mix of forces made up of RUF fighters from Sierra Leone, Liberian militias, a
small number of Guinean rebels, and mercenaries from the region. In addition to
allowing LURD to maintain rear bases in southern Guinea, the Guinean government
reportedly supported LURD by supplying it with arms, and periodically provided
tactical military assistance, such as cross-border mortar and helicopter air fire
support. Such reports were routinely been denied by Guinea’s government.18

16 U.S. Agency for International Development, “Liberia — Complex Emergency,” Situation
Report #11, [FY] 2003, Sept. 17, 2003; and Situation Report #10, [FY] 2004, Jan. 9, 2004.
17 See CRS Report RL31062, Sierra Leone: Transition to Peace.
18 On alleged Guinean support for LURD, see, inter alia, Human Rights Watch, “Weapons
Sanctions, Military Supplies, and Human Suffering: Illegal Arms Flows to Liberia and the

The influence of Guinea with respect to developments in Liberia was underlined
by a series of visits to Conakry during and after the peace negotiations by officials,
including U.S. and ECOWAS diplomats; the interim Liberian President, Moses Blah;
UNMIL head Jacques Klein; and Chairman Bryant. LURD leaders also appeared to
have received continuing logistical and security support from Guinea in the period
after the signing of the peace accord. In late September 2003, Conneh traveled to
Liberia from Guinea to announce LURD’s intention to end combat. His convoy was
guarded by Guinean government soldiers and included Guinean government vehicles,
and he paid tribute to Guinea’s role in backing LURD’s objectives.19 Similarly, when
Aisha Keita-Conneh traveled to Monrovia in January 2004, she was accompanied by
Guinean military bodyguards.20
Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia. In late 2002, a mix of factional fighters,
mercenaries, and refugee recruits from Liberia became involved in clashes, human
rights abuses, and looting in western Cote d’Ivoire. Violence there burgeoned in the
wake of a September 2002 rebellion centered in northern Cote d’Ivoire. The
Liberians joined diverse armed groups that were active in the Ivorian west, some
fighting in support of the Ivorian government, and some against it; others were
involved in banditry. The Taylor government asserted that it was unaffiliated with
any of these groups, but there were repeated reports to the contrary. Fighters and
looted goods reportedly traversed the Liberia-Cote d’Ivoire border frequently, and the
two country’s governments accused one another of sponsoring armed rebel groups
against the other. Such charges were the product of Cote d’Ivoire’s current political
crisis, but had roots in direct and indirect, long-standing, Ivorian involvement in
Liberia’s two conflicts. Numerous press and analytical reports charged that the
Ivorian government provided backing for MODEL. Though violence in western Cote
d’Ivoire has generally subsided, there have been periodic reports of tensions between
local Ivorian citizens and foreign immigrants and refugees in the area.
Peace efforts in both Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire have taken heed of the cross-
border dynamics of conflict along the Liberian-Ivorian frontier. Many of the same
actors mediating in Cote d’Ivoire were involved in congruous efforts to end Liberia’s
conflict, and UNMIL and the U.N. Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) share
intelligence information. In November 2003, UNMIL head Jacques Klein appealed
for French-speaking peacekeepers, in light of cross-border flows between Liberia,

18 (...continued)
June-July 2003 Shelling of Monrovia,” Briefing Paper, Nov. 3, 2003; ——, Liberian
Refugees In Guinea: Refoulement, Militarization of Camps, and Other Protection Concerns,
Nov. 2002; ——, Back to the Brink: War Crimes by Liberian Government and Rebels: A
Call for Greater International Attention to Liberia and the Sub Region, May 2002;
International Crisis Group (ICG), Tackling Liberia;——, Liberia: The Key...; Report of the
Panel of Experts appointed pursuant to paragraph 4 of Security Council resolution 1458
(2003), concerning Liberia in United Nations Security Council document S/2003/498, Apr.
24, 2003; and Global Witness, The Usual Suspects: Liberia’s Weapons and Mercenaries in
Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone, Mar. 2003.
19 See U.N. IRIN, “Liberia: Main rebel group declares end of hostilities in Liberia,” Sept.

24, 2003, inter alia.

20 IRIN, “Liberia: Conneh’s Estranged Wife Emerges...”

Cote d’Ivoire, and Guinea of refugees and armed groups. Similarly, former President
Taylor and his Ivorian counterpart, Laurence Gbagbo, met in Togo in early May
2003. They later announced plans, which were never implemented, to deploy along
their shared border a joint military monitoring force.
International Responses
Poor economic conditions and persistent conflict-related humanitarian needs
have long motivated a continuous flow of international relief assistance to Liberia
and its neighbors. Similarly, the region has been the focus of repeated international
conflict resolution efforts centered around mediation attempts and, in the case of
Liberia, the imposition of proscriptive sanctions on its government. Some policy
makers also have expressed concern over reports alleging that the Taylor government
hosted Al Qaeda agents and facilitated their purchase of West African diamonds.21
United Nations
U.N. Security Council Sanctions. Liberia is subject to international
sanctions first imposed, though since modified, by the U.N. Security Council in
March 2001 (S/RES/1343) after it found that the Taylor government had repeatedly
violated earlier U.N. resolutions by providing military support and safe haven for the
rebel Sierra Leone Revolutionary United Front (RUF), in part in exchange for Sierra
Leonean diamonds. S/RES/1343 demanded that the Taylor government end such
support, seize RUF assets and expel all RUF members in Liberia, and end its
trafficking in arms for diamonds. It banned the direct or indirect import of rough
diamonds from or through Liberia; flights of Liberian-registered aircraft; the
shipment of arms and related materiél to Liberia; and foreign travel by senior
Liberian officials.
The sanctions were extended for a year in May 2002 (S/RES/1408), after the
Security Council found that Liberia had not fully complied with S/RES/1343, as
Liberia later formally admitted, claiming the right to do so for reasons of self defense
under Article 51 of U.N. Charter. Some Taylor critics advocated widening the
sanctions to include measures to decrease the Taylor government’s access to national
timber, rubber, and maritime revenues, which they alleged it was diverting for private
purposes and uses to fund regional conflict. On May 6, 2003, the Security Council
extended sanctions on Liberia for a year (S/RES/1478) and added a ten-month ban
on the import of Liberian timber, which began July 7, 2003, though it also decided
to assess and mitigate possible negative humanitarian or socio-economic effects of
its sanctions.
On December 22, 2003, the Security Council terminated the sanctions and
replaced them with new ones (S/RES/1521). In doing so, it cited concerns that the
cease-fire and CPA were “not yet being universally implemented throughout
Liberia”; that much of its territory remained outside the authority of the NTGL,
particularly where UNMIL had yet to deploy; that there continued to be linkages
between the illegal exploitation and trade of natural resources like diamonds and

21 See CRS Report RL30751, Diamonds and Conflict: Background, Policy, and Legislation.

timber, leading to a the proliferation and trafficking of illegal arms, and the fueling
and exacerbation of conflicts in Liberia and other areas of West Africa; and that the
situation in Liberia, the proliferation of arms and armed non-state actors and
mercenaries in the subregion continued to constitute a threat to international peace
and security in Liberia and the region. S/RES/1521 banned for one year:
!The export to Liberia for any recipient of all arms, military materiél,
and technical support relating to such items, with certain exceptions
for UNMIL and other U.N.-approved purposes, such as security
sector reform programs, and humanitarian/protective purposes;
!Foreign travel or transit of “individuals... who constitute a threat” to
Liberia’s peace process or regional security, specifically including
senior members of the former Taylor government and their spouses,
members of the Liberian armed forces with links to Taylor, and
individuals affected by travel restrictions under S/RES/1343;
!The direct or indirect import of rough diamonds from or through
Liberia; and
!The import of Liberian logs and timber products. It also urged the
NTGL to establish full control over timber harvesting areas and
timber-based revenues
S/RES/1521 also
!Called upon NTGL to establish an “effective Certificate of Origin
regime” for Liberian rough diamonds that would potentially allow
Liberia to join the Kimberley Process and lead to a lifting of the
diamond trade sanctions;
!Urged the NTGL to establish full control and oversight of all public
revenues, specifically including those generated by the Liberian
International Ship and Corporate Registry, and to use such funds for
national development; and
!Mandated the formation of a sanctions monitoring Committee and
an investigatory panel of experts.
On June 17, 2004, the Security Council reviewed the sanctions under
S/RES/1521, but declined to lift them (S/RES/1549). Instead, having taken note of
a NTGL request that sanctions on Liberia’s timber and diamonds be lifted, the
Security Council decided to re-establish a panel of experts and mandated that it
assess general compliance with the sanctions and progress toward the goals
underlying their imposition, which the NTGL had also requested. The passage of
S/RES/1549 was preceded by the Security Council’s decision on March 12, 2004
(S/RES/1532), to freeze the assets of the former president, Charles Taylor, as well
as those of his family and close allies, and to trace and freeze funds and other
economic assets owned or controlled by the same parties. President Bush’s
Executive Order 13348, of July 22, 2004, implements this ban in the United States.
The transitional government of Liberia implemented the ban in Liberia in mid-
October 2004, though the Supreme Court subsequently halted the action with
reference to two reputed Taylor associates.

U.N. and ECOWAS. The establishment and deployment of UNMIL was
preceded by the Security Council’s authorization, before the CPA was signed, of a
Multinational Force (MNF) in Liberia. Its purpose was to support the
implementation of the much-violated June 17, 2003 cease-fire agreement and to
establish a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian relief. On August 1,
2003, the Security Council adopted a resolution 1497. It authorized an MNF and
labeled as “critical” President Taylor’s departure from power, to be followed by the
installation of a transitional government in Liberia and the subsequent deployment
of a U.N. stabilization successor force to the country by October 1, 2003. It provided
the MNF with a waiver of U.N. sanctions banning the import of military materiél into
Liberia and authorized the MNF to act under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter (i.e.,
gave it authority to use military force to ensure international peace and security). It
also provided that all personnel of “a contributing state” would be subject to the
“exclusive jurisdiction” of that state, unless jurisdiction is waived by a state. The
provision was seen as exempting participating troops from potential prosecution in
the International Criminal Court (ICC).22
While S/RES/1497 did not explicitly equate the MNF with the ECOWAS
intervention force that was then preparing to deploy to Liberia, it did authorize
UNAMSIL to provide logistical support for 30 days to ECOWAS for the purpose of
fielding the force that subsequently became known as ECOMIL. The term MNF was
used in the resolution, in part, because in the weeks preceding the authorization of
the MNF, ECOWAS leaders had conditioned their contribution of troops to the MNF
on the expectation they would be joined in this effort by other nations. In the end,
however, no other nations contributed troops to the MNF; it was ultimately
comprised solely of ECOMIL, which deployed days after S/RES/1497 was passed,
as described previously.
U.N. Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). UNMIL, authorized on September 19,
2003, by the U.N. Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter
(S/RES/1509), commenced operations on October 1, 2003. The formal deployment
of UNMIL, which at the time lacked the bulk of its troop strength, had the legal effect
of dissolving ECOMIL and transferring its authority to UNMIL. Simultaneously, the
troops that had comprised ECOMIL were inducted into UNMIL, and became its
initial core force.
UNMIL was authorized a force of up to 15,000 U.N. military personnel,
including as many as 250 military observers, 160 staff officers, and up to 1,115
civilian police officers, and “appropriate” civilian components. Upon the
establishment of UNMIL, the small, previously existing U.N. Office in Liberia

22 The resolution was passed by a vote of 12-0, but three Security Council members (France,
Germany and Mexico) abstained because the measure included a provision exempting
members of the multi-national force from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court
(ICC). They asserted that this provision would nullify measures of their sovereign legal
codes, and might prevent their home governments from prosecuting foreign nationals who
commit crimes against their own citizens. Colum Lynch, “Security Council Backs
Nigerian-Led Force in Liberia,” Washington Post, Aug. 2, 2003, inter alia. On the ICC, see
CRS Report RL31495, U.S. Policy Regarding the International Criminal Court, and CRS
Report RL31437, International Criminal Court: Overview and Selected Legal Issues.

(UNOL) was dissolved, and certain of its assets folded into UNMIL. The Security
Council gave UNMIL a multi-faceted, 12-month initial mandate. Key duties include
monitoring and implementation of the CPA and June cease-fire accord, and creation
of an action plan for implementing a comprehensive DDRR program, in cooperation
with other international actors. S/RES/1509 also mandated that UNMIL:
!Disengage and canton at secure sites the Liberian armed parties’
military forces;
!Support the work of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC), a body
created under the June 17 cease-fire accord;
!Implement a voluntary disarmament program;
!Provide security for key government installations, and other vital
infrastructure, such as transport hubs;
!Protect and enable the free operation of U.N. staff and facilities;
!Facilitate the provision of humanitarian aid;
!Assist in the protection and promotion of human rights in Liberia;
!Protect civilians under imminent threat of violence, under certain
The resolution further mandated that UNMIL assist the NTGL to:
!Monitor, restructure, and retrain Liberia’s police and military forces;
!Re-establish national authority and administrative capacities
!Develop a “strategy to consolidate governmental institutions,
including a national legal framework and judicial and correctional
!Restore proper administration and regulation of natural resources;
!Prepare for national elections scheduled for no later than the end of


UNMIL is headed by Jacques Paul Klein, who had been appointed Special
Representative of the Secretary-General for Liberia on July 9, 2003. Klein is a
retired U.S. Air Force General and senior U.S. diplomat, and former head of the U.N.
Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH). Other top UNMIL officials include
its Force Commander, Lieutenant-General Daniel Ishmael Opande of Kenya, the
former commander of UNAMSIL; Souren Seraydarian of Syria, the Deputy Special
Representative of the Secretary-General for Operations and Rule of Law; Abou
Moussa of Chad, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for
Relief, Recovery and Rehabilitation and U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Liberia;
and UNMIL Police Commissioner Mark A. Kroeker, the former police chief of
Portland, Oregon.

Current Situation
Numerous medium to long-term challenges face Liberia and its donors. These
!Achieving a transition from a situation of humanitarian crisis
requiring emergency assistance to one characterized by resettlement
and economic recovery.
!The re-establishment of state authority throughout Liberia’s national
!The rebuilding and reform of government institutions, facilities, and
capacities, notably those of the functional ministries, revenue-
earning and regulatory independent agencies, the police, and the
justice system.
!General socio-economic recovery and rehabilitation of national
physical infrastructure.
Other current peace and security-related operational issues that face the NTGL,
UNMIL, and Liberia’s international donors include continued implementation of the
CPA, particularly with regard to maintenance of security; completion of DDRR;
progress in preparing for elections; and resolution of the status of Charles Taylor,
both as an exile in Nigeria and as a war crimes indictee.
National Recovery
Current Humanitarian Situation. Humanitarian conditions remain difficult
in much of Liberia, but are continuing to improve, particularly in Monrovia and other
urban areas. Relief organizations have progressively expanded their areas of
operation nationwide since August 2003, when humanitarian emergency operations
were reinitiated after the deployment of ECOMIL and the signing of the peace
accord. The socio-economic situation also began to slowly stabilize at that time due
to the arrival of renewed food and fuel imports and the reopening of businesses and
key transport corridors. During the past year, U.N. agencies, in concert with
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and NTGL ministries, in a forum called the
Humanitarian Action Committee, have implemented a wide range of projects. These
target needs relating to nutrition, water and sanitation, primary healthcare services
and transportation infrastructure rebuilding, and the continuing assessment of socio-
economic conditions in local areas throughout Liberia. Many initial efforts have
taken the form of “quick-impact projects” meant to provide immediate basic outputs.
Several disease immunization campaigns have also been undertaken.
Despite considerable progress, there remain high levels of basic humanitarian
need in Liberia. In August 2004, according to USAID, quoting U.N. High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) data, there were 300,000 internally displaced
persons (IDPs) living in camps in Liberia. Additionally, there were 350,000 Liberian
refugees living in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana, as well as 4,000

Sierra Leoneans living in Liberia. As of early June, about 80,000 Liberian refugees
had independently repatriated to Liberia following the end of the conflict. Access to
relief supplies and, in some cases, limited public services are most readily available
IDP camps and informal settlements in urban areas, but these are also characterized
by overcrowding.
Nutrition. Over 418,000 individuals currently depend on monthly food
distributions from the World Food Program (WFP), though the number of
beneficiaries has varied widely, to almost double that number in some months. In
early August 2004, the WFP announced that it would decrease rations due to
shortages of pulses, effectively reducing the daily caloric nutrition levels of rations
by about 27%, though corn-soya supplements were added. Further food aid supply
shortages were forecast by the WFP due to lapses in donor funding. As of late
August, according to a September 2004 WFP report, severe malnutrition —
attributable, in part, to illnesses, such as malaria, diarrhea, and cholera that tend to
rise during the current rainy season — was being reported in some areas. Such
reporting, and associated relief responses, are in part due to the continuing extension
of relief agency activities and increasingly regular assessments of medical and
humanitarian needs throughout the country. Provision of adequate potable water is
a key component of both emergency relief delivery and resettlement programs.
Resettlement. While increasing numbers of IDPs are spontaneously resettling
(i.e., autonomously moving to permanent places of settlement with little, if any,
assistance from relief agencies), the bulk of displaced populations have yet to move
to their permanent areas of residence. U.N. and NGO agencies that will support
resettlement operations are currently planning these activities, and stockpiling and
procuring resources that will be required to carry them out. Such resources include
seed, tool, and basic transitional non-food item packages, as well as follow-up
programs aimed at rehabilitating and providing basic social service facilities for
newly resettled communities. Formal resettlement programs will not begin until
areas targeted for return have been declared safe by an organ called the Security
Assessment Committee for Resettlement (SACR), made up of NTGL, U.N., and
NGOs representatives. Such declarations will require that in each targeted area,
UNMIL peacekeepers be deployed; disarmament programs be completed; social and
local police services be functioning; that the area be freely accessible to humanitarian
agencies; and that spontaneous resettlements in the area be assessed, as a means of
determining the likely success of formal return activities. The UNHCR began to
assist in the repatriation and resettlement of refugees from surrounding countries in
early October 2004.
Education. In late 2003, the NTGL Education Ministry of the began efforts
to reinitiate education activities, which had declined dramatically as the conflict
grew. Most Liberian young adults and school-aged children have had limited access
to schooling and are largely illiterate, in contrast to older generations, which are
generally well-educated by regional standards. The NTGL’s efforts have been
assisted by the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), through its Back to School
Campaign. UNICEF helped coordinate educational facility assessments, delivered
“school in a box” emergency school supply kits, and implemented a rapid master
teacher “train the trainers” program. According to UNMIL, most primary and
secondary schools in urban areas are operational, and UNICEF has delivered over

10,000 school supply kits adequate for the needs of 800,000 pupils; has trained

12,000 primary school teachers; and is supplying schools with access to clean water.

Nationwide, current core activities aimed at rebuilding the education sector include
facilities and manpower assessments; creation of teacher training,
vocational/skills-building, and education promotion programs; efforts to support
girls’ education; school rehabilitation, construction, and provisioning; and
school-based delivery of healthcare and supplementary nutrition. WFP programs
currently reach over 395,000 pupils, and plans call for the expansion of such aid to
about 65,000 additional children by late 200423. Compared to progress in reopening
schools, progress toward reinitiating activities at the university level has been halting.
The University of Liberia (UL) has opened, but only about 20% of enrolled students
are reportedly fully registered, and in August 2004, students and faculty launched a
boycott in protest against the nomination of the NTGL of a new UL president.24
General Economic Recovery. Nation-wide, commerce is growing, in part
because key transport routes are free of factional checkpoints. In core urban areas,
a wide variety of imported goods are reportedly available from major trading
companies, many Lebanese-run, which in turn supply small-scale retailers and street
merchants. Public infrastructure remains devastated. Monrovia, with a population
of about 1 million, lacks piped water and public electricity mains; most electricity is
produced by private generators. These sectors are targeted for donor-aided
rehabilitation. In July 2004, a Spanish firm was awarded a licence to explore for
offshore oil.
Despite a normalizing economic situation, some observers are concerned that
the upswing in economic activity in Liberia is driven by donor-financed expenditures,
and may not reflect fundamental economic recovery. As of mid-October 2004, $354
million of $520 million in donor pledges made in February 2004 had been received.
About half of these receipts were earmarked for humanitarian activities and about
half for reconstruction projects. Some observers worry that humanitarian crises in
other world regions, such as Sudan, may undermine donors’ actual contribution of
assistance they have previously pledged.
Re-establishment of State Institutions. A phased extension of state
authority continues to be undertaken by the NTGL and the National Transitional
Legislative Assembly (NTLA) with the assistance of UNMIL, particularly its civil
affairs elements. It has been hampered, however, due to a paucity of basic facilities
and resources to rehabilitate them; by insecurity, notably in rural areas; and by
friction among local authorities25. The latter include a mix of those affiliated with
the armed factions, who in some cases were appointed prior to the establishment of

23 UNICEF submitted a funding appeal for $31 million as part of the U.N.’s Liberia
Inter-Agency Consolidated Appeal for 2004; see U.N. Security Council, Fourth progress
report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in Liberia, S/2004/725, Sept.

10, 2004.

24 The Analyst, “Only 2,500 of 12,000 Students Fully Registered at UL,” Aug. 26, 2004.
25 See, e.g., IRIN, “Liberia: UN Probes Cross-border Arms Smuggling,” Jul. 21, 2004; —
, “Liberia: Rebels dig in at rubber plantation,” Aug. 10, 2004; and — , “Liberia: A Shattered
Nation on a Long Road to Recovery,” Aug. 17, 2004.

the NTGL and in others in coordination with the NTGL; traditional leaders; and those
still in place from previous regimes. NTLA and local objections to unilateral
nominations of local officials by the NTGL executive have reportedly led to deeper
cooperation between these branches of the transitional government, principally
through a process by which a county-level committee vets and recommends a pool
of candidates from which NTGL nominees are selected by the NTGL chair.
Generally, in areas outside the capital, the dispatch of government officials has
centered on key population centers and areas where UNMIL has deployed troops and
where the demobilization of ex-combatants has been initiated. Key tasks of local
officials include coordination with the NTGL, U.N., and NGO agencies of programs
to reintegrate and resettle ex-combatants and internally displaced persons in their
communities of residence; the initiation of local infrastructure and public facilities
needs-assessments; and, in a few cases, the initiation of reconstruction projects.
Another key goal of the NTGL is to restore state control, in concert with local
officials where appropriate, over the exploitation and regulation of natural resources,
notably forests and diamonds, in part in order to comply with the conditions required
for U.N. sanctions on Liberia to be lifted. The government recently deployed revenue
collectors to Liberia’s main towns. Throughout much of 2004, protection of borders
had been an on-going area of concern with regard to the reassertion of central state
authority, because in many instances, factional fighters remained in control of
frontiers. In early September, however, the UNSG reported that UNMIL had worked
with the NTGL to deploy immigration and customs officials to key border crossings,
and was engaged in negotiations with armed faction elements aimed at ensuring they
relinquish to the NTGL public facilities that have controlled or occupied. UNMIL
is also assisting ad-hoc committees to mediate housing and property disputes,
particularly those pertaining to families resettling or returning to their home areas.
In Monrovia, many NTGL ministry headquarters lack basic equipment,
provisions, and the logistical capacity or resources to obtain them, though donor-
funded ministerial rehabilitation projects, including U.S.-funded programs, are
attempting to remedy this situation. Despite such challenges, the NTGL has taken
a number of steps to re-establish basic government processes. It has directed that all
state revenues be submitted to the central bank, though some critics claim that not all
funds have been subjected to this requirement, and replaced the former Taylor-era
head of the Central Bank, who critics had accused of aiding corrupt practices under
the former government.
In late March 2004, the NTGL submitted a $23.5 million interim budget,
derived from maritime and customs receipts among other domestic revenues,
covering the period from February to June 2004, which the legislature passed weeks
later, with minor increases. The budget covered only government current wage bills,
but did not address massive civil servant salary arrears, a central grievance of public
sector workers, a key political constituency. In mid-May 2004, in response to such
concerns and following talks with public sector labor leaders, the NTGL stated that
it would begin bi-monthly payments of such arrears through mid-2005, beginning in
late July 2004, after completion of a general public audit aimed at removing ghost
workers from the state payrolls and preventing future salaries fraud. Despite this
commitment, in late May government workers undertook a labor strike, viewed by
the NTGL as illegal, to demand immediate payment of salary arrears. The

government worker strike began during a separate, multi-week wage arrears strike
by Liberia Telecommunications Corporation workers. In late July, NTGL Chairman
Bryant reiterated the NTGL’s commitment to beginning arrears payments. The NTGL
subsequently proposed a regular $80 million 2004/2005 budget.
Transparency. While the NTGL has made progress toward re-initiating
government functions, some observers worry that it may lack the capacity to ensure
that all state operations are conducted in a transparent and accountable manner.
Some claim that government office holders are acting for their own benefit or are
engaging in nepotism. Critics claim that in a post-conflict country with an average
2003 income of $130 per capita, the issuance of new vehicles to numerous public
office holders, including most of the parliament, is an indication of these office
holders’ self enrichment. They also cite concerns about repeated overseas trips by
NTLA officials, some accompanied by retinues of associates; the sale of Liberian
state overseas properties, such as embassies, and of a $10 million stockpile of iron
ore, and disposition of revenues thereof; the taxation of former monopoly firms; the
disposition of revenues from certain shipping-related state agencies; and lack of
progress toward auditing and regulating natural resource concessions and proceeds26.
UNMIL head Jacques Klein has criticized the NTGL for making making slow
progress in many areas, notably with regard to elections. In late July, reportedly
noting that “each of the warring factions got ministries ... staffed top to bottom with
their people,” he attributed such lack of progress to the assertion that “some people
are thinking, ‘Why next year? I like being in my government job - what’s the rush?’
In late October 2004, a joint World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF)
fiscal management assessment team in Liberia called for increased transparency,
reform, and accountability in NTGL fiscal management and budgeting. The team
stated that they viewed such an outcome as a pre-condition for the removal of U.N.
sanctions on Liberia, and as a signal to donors considering the provision of increased
aid to Liberia. The team also stated that donors are concerned about the NTGL’s
purchase of 76 Grand Cherokee jeeps for the parliament, though they expressed28
optimism that donors would likely eventually grant Liberia foreign debt relief.
Despite some criticisms of its performance, the NTGL has received plaudits
from many observers for undertaking incipient reforms of the Central Bank of Liberia

26 U.N. Security Council document S/2004/752, Sept. 24, 2004; H. Boima Fahnbulleh, Jr.,
“Liberia: Matters Arising,” The Analyst, Aug. 6 2004; The Analyst, “Corruption Widespread
in Liberia - U.N. Panel Observed,” Oct. 1, 2004; communication from a Liberian
parliamentarian; Christopher Melville, “Liberia’s Government Chairman Buries Hatchet
With Parliamentary Speaker,” WMRC Daily Analysis, Aug. 19, 2004.
27 IRIN, “Liberia: Where Are the Weapons? Is Disarmament Really Working?,” July 29,


28 Radio Veritas, “World Bank and IMF Want Transparency in Fiscal Budget,” UNMIL
Daily Radio Summary, Oct. 27 2004; IRIN, “Liberia: IMF and World Bank demand more
transparency in public finances,” Oct. 26, 2004; and “World Bank and IMF Concerned about
Liberia’s Budget (The Inquirer, The News, The Analyst and The Forum),” UNMIL Daily
Newspaper Summary,” Oct. 26, 2004.

(CBL), including an order that all state revenues be placed in a CBL account. The
NTGL has also announced that several government agencies are to be audited, with
foreign technical assistance. The replacement of the former CBL governor has
generated similar praise. In May 2004, the then-CBL governor, Elias Saleeby,
resigned under pressure from the NTLA and, reportedly, from the IMF. Saleeby, a
former IMF staff who had served as Central Bank governor during the Taylor regime,
had been re-appointed to the post in October 2003. He had, however, become the
focus of increasing criticism from parliamentarians who challenged his authority to
print about $12.3 million worth of Liberian currency, without parliamentary
approval, during Taylor’s final months in power. Saleeby reportedly had claimed
that a 1999 law gave the Bank the authority to do so. He was also the target of
criticism from diverse Liberian and foreign observers because of his close association
with Taylor and the high level of public sector corruption and fiscal chaos that
characterized the Liberian government under Taylor and Saleeby’s tenure. In May
2004, a visiting IMF delegation reportedly threatened to refuse to work with the
Central Bank until Saleeby’s resignation.29
Reforms in the Security and Legal Sectors. A Rule of Law
Implementation Committee, made up of NTGL and UNMIL representatives, has been
formed to coordinate police, judicial, and prison reforms. Liberia’s National Police
Academy re-opened in mid-July, and training of screened and vetted cadets, drawn
from a mix of internal police and external candidates, began in at the end of the
month. The Academy’s capacity remains limited, however, due to rehabilitation
requirements, for which funds were lacking as of early September 2004. Further
police recruitments, aided by UNMIL CIVPOL, are continuing, and all existing law
enforcement personnel are being enrolled in a nation-wide registry.
A limited number of courts at various levels, including the Supreme Court, are
now functioning, though with limited resources, and UNMIL-aided training and
vetting of judges at all levels below the Supreme Court has begun. UNMIL and
experts from various donor countries are working with the NTGL to reform and
rehabilitate the national justice system through implementation of monitoring,
advisory and training programs in diverse rule-of-law institutions, through limited,
quick-impact rehabilitation projects targeting key institutions’ facilities.
Plans for the reform of Liberia’s armed forces, as provided for under the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), are not complete. U.S. Defense and State
Department officials are in the process of assessing and recommending a potential
program for military restructuring. Of the $200 million in IDFA funds under P.L.
108-106, $35 million was dedicated to U.S. assistance to support Liberian military
reform. U.S. defense officials, however, estimate that a total of between $118
million and $200 million will ultimately be required to achieve the goal of rebuilding
a 3,000- 4,000 person military. Other U.S. planning projects a possible need for a

29 PANA, “Liberian Central Bank Governor Resigns,” May 11, 2004; Liberian private DC
101.1 FM radio, “Liberia: Bryant Clarifies Cause for Central Bank Governor’s
Resignation,” BBC Monitoring Africa, August 7, 2004; The Analyst (Monrovia), “Prosecute
Saleeby, Others - LWHR Suggest to Bryant,” May 19, 2004; The Analyst (Monrovia),
“Under IMF’s Pressure: Saleeby Booted Out of CBL,” May 12, 2004.

4,000-6,000 person military. Officials have provisionally identified within the
Administration’s FY2005 and FY2006 requests $118 million in regional
peacekeeping, Foreign Military Financing, and supplemental funds that, if
appropriated and sanctioned for this purpose, might be used to substantially begin
such restructuring. They are also seeking the assistance of other donor nations in
accomplishing this goal.
Security Issues
UNMIL Deployment. UNMIL troops have deployed throughout Liberia,
including at key border sites, and its civilian police (CIVPOL) elements are present
at 25 main locations nationwide, and are expected to undertake further deployments.
As of the end of September 2004, UNMIL, which has an authorized troop ceiling of
15,000 personnel, had a total strength of 14,363 troops; 201 military observers; and
1,089 CIVPOL; and over 423 international civilian personnel. The deployment of
a communications group then under formation was expected to bring UNMIL up to
its fully authorized troop level. UNMIL had experienced 23 fatalities, none as a
result of a hostile act. As of the same date, UNMIL personnel were drawn from 60
countries; the largest combined military/CIVPOL contingents were from Bangladesh,
Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Nigeria. The United States had contributed six troops; five
military observers; and 72 civilian police. UNMIL had earlier faced challenges in30
recruiting personnel from troop contributing countries.
Security Situation. The nation-wide deployment of UNMIL, together with
the continuing success of disarmament and demobilization programs for
ex-combatants (see below), has contributed to a generally calm and improving
security situation in Liberia, though the country remains subject to periodic unrest
and volatility. In addition to carrying out disarmament activities, UNMIL troops
routinely monitor roads and borders, the latter by land and air, and carry out search
and seizure operations aimed at intercepting and halting trafficking in illicit arms and
ammunition. No significant cease-fire violations between the three armed factions
were recorded to date in 2004. Intra-factional rivalries have on several occasions,
however, turned violent and threatened public security, as have periodic civil unrest
and criminal activities, including sporadic looting and assaults, theft, or extortion of
civilians by ex-combatants. Such threats have primarily affected Monrovia and other
population centers, where many disarmed ex-combatants are present, and localities
awaiting the start of disarmament programs.
Intra-Factional Tensions. Limited discord within MODEL and among
former government force elements, most commonly involving disputes between field
level fighters and their immediate commanders, has periodically been reported. More
serious intra-factional tensions, however, have occurred within LURD. Throughout
late 2003 and 2004, there were persistent reports of rivalries between one group of
LURD members, including several key political leaders said to be allied primarily
with Sekou Conneh, and a second LURD faction. The latter includes several key
military commanders who reportedly back Conneh’s wife, Aisha Keita-Conneh, and
Kabineh Janneh, a former LURD peace accord negotiator and the current NTGL

30 United Nations, “UN Mission’s Contributions by Country,” Sept. 30, 2004

Minister of Justice. While Keita-Conneh, who like her husband is a founding leader
of LURD, holds no formal position within the organization, she has long wielded
extensive influence over large segments of LURD.
LURD has long been subject to internal discord; both during the conflict and
during the peace talks that ended it, disagreements among the group’s leaders were
reported. Tensions grew in January 2004, however, when a group of LURD military
leaders, disenchanted with Sekou Conneh for not backing their candidacies for
positions in the NTGL, alleged that he was engaging in favoritism and accepting
bribes in exchange for positions allocated to LURD in the NTGL. Some called on
Keita-Conneh, who claims to be the “founder and main leader” of LURD, to take
over its chairmanship from Conneh. These tensions also appear to have been
aggravated by an on-going marital dispute between Conneh and Keita-Conneh that
reportedly relates, in part, to Conneh’s nomination of a relative of his former wife to
be NTGL Finance Minister.31
Such tensions persisted throughout 2004. In early April, LURD fighters,
claiming that they were not receiving adequate disarmament assistance and that their
leaders were neglecting their needs, looted and rioted in the central city of Gbargna.
In early June, a group of LURD leaders, claiming status as LURD’s “National
Executive Council,” suspended Conneh “indefinitely” as chairman of LURD, and
days later appointed Chayee Doe as the new LURD chair. Doe, however, died in
mid-June while undergoing brain surgery in the United States. Subsequently, in
June, Janneh was chosen by the Council as Acting and then permanent LURD
Chairman. In early August, the two opposed LURD factions targeted one another in
a series of actions involving vehicle theft, abductions, fistfights and shootings. These
incidents, which threatened to escalate and pose a general threat to public security,
were halted by UNMIL through a combination of police and troop force deployments
and mediation.
Conneh immediately dismissed the legitimacy of his alleged replacement in
June 2004, and continues to claim his position as chairman — though for much of
the period after the CPA’s signing, he resided abroad, and only periodically visited
Liberia32. His absence from Liberia during key events — such as an April 2004
opening of a disarmament camp in Tubmanburg, LURD’s wartime headquarters, and
during peace negotiations — has led some observers to hypothesize that he may
initially have been chosen as a figurehead leader who could later be replaced.

31 IRIN, “Liberia: Bryant to Intervene in Rebel Rift,” Jan. 21, 2004; BBC News, “Family
Feud Rocks Liberia rebels, Jan. 20, 2004; Jonathan Paye-Layleh, “Liberian rebel leader’s
wife claims leadership of insurgency,” Associated Press, Jan. 20, 2004; and IRIN, “Liberia:
Conneh’s Estranged Wife Emerges as Power Broker in LURD,” Jan. 14, 2004; IRIN,
“Liberia: Leadership Battle in LURD Leads to Fighting on Streets of Monrovia,” Aug. 4,
2004; Mike Jabateh and Ora Garway, “Dweh Threatens War - Gen. Opande Wheeled Sekou
Away - Duala Residents Run Helter-Skelter -What Is Afoot,” The Analyst (Monrovia), Aug.

5, 2004, among others.

32 Conneh’s poor relations with Keita-Conneh may have undermined his relations with the
authorities in Guinea. In mid-2004, he reportedly moved his primary place of residence from
Conakry to Dakar, Senegal.

According to such views, he was selected because he had access to funding and links
to the Guinean government, but held little direct sway over LURD’s military
elements. During the post-accord period, in this view, Conneh has continually had
to struggle to assert his authority within the group, and has attempted to form
alliances with politicians who possess political connections and aspirations
independent of those of the core military LURD leadership. Such factors may
underlie the spate of intra-LURD violence in early August; it appears, in large part,
to have been spurred by Conneh’s return to Monrovia and the prospect that he might
attempt to re-assert control over LURD’s Monrovia-based leadership. Since that
time, Conneh’s position appears to have strengthened, as some military leaders
formerly allied with Keita-Conneh have begun to distance themselves from her.
The on-going tensions within LURD are worrying to many observers because
of LURD’s key position within the NTGL, and its history of using the force of arms
to achieve political ends. Were LURD to permanently split into mutually opposed
factions, some believe, the threat of significant renewed armed conflict could
re-emerge, and could again destabilize Liberia and endanger the viability of the peace
accord. However, in accordance with the CPA, LURD has announced that will
officially dissolve as an armed force on October 31. Observers anticipate that the
group will transform itself into a political party.
Peace Accord Implementation
Substantial progress toward two key challenges to implementation of the CPA
— resolution of persistent disagreements about appointments to posts in the National
Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), and completion of the disarmament and
demobilization process — has been made, though neither goal has been completely
met. Other key peace accord-related tasks facing the NTGL include the need to
improve its functional capacity; ensuring progress toward security sector reform; and
establishing the legal and operational conditions and capacities necessary for the
conduct of free and fair elections in October 2005.
NTGL Posts. Job-related political demands by the armed actors, notably
LURD, repeatedly threatened to prevent the initiation of demobilization and to
undermine the accord and the formation of the NTGL. In mid-September 2003,
LURD asserted that the Bryant Administration was planning to deny LURD assistant
minister posts, in contravention of the peace accord, and threatened not to join the
NTGL. In mid-October, LURD again requested that job allocations be clarified prior
to the inauguration of the National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA)33. In
mid-December 2003, the three armed factions issued a formal declaration, which they
dubbed The Monrovia Clarification on the 18 August 2003 Comprehensive Peace
Agreement, demanding control over virtually all top government posts, including six
ministries and 16 independent government agencies allocated to the unarmed
political parties and civil society under the CPA. Their demand, if upheld, would

33 IRIN, “Liberia: Lurd Threatens to Quit Government over Jobs Row,” Sept. 12, 2003;
IRIN, “New Parliament to Meet Before Tuesday,” Oct. 10, 2003; IRIN, “County Nominees
Rejected As New Parliamentarians Meet,” Oct. 13, 2003; and IRIN, “Liberia: Warring
Parties Formalise Demands for More Jobs in Government,” Dec. 19, 2003.

reportedly have caused civilian groups to lose as many as 33 positions, and spurred
the civilians, including the Deputy Chairman of the NTGL, Wesley Johnson, to
threaten to resign from the NTGL in protest. While most such disagreements have
been resolved, in early September 2004, the UNSG reported that “there are still
ongoing disputes over government posts which have made it difficult for the
Transitional Government to function as a cohesive administration.”34 Similar
disputes, mostly pitting the former armed factions against unarmed political parties
and civil society groups, had earlier arisen over the manner in which National
Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA) seats had been selected. Disagreements
over disputed NTLA seats have since been resolved, apart those affecting one seat,
for which a special election was slated to be held.
Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration
(DDRR). Liberia’s peace accord requires the cantonment and “disarmament,
demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration” (DDRR) of the armed parties to the
conflict. An UNMIL-supervised disarmament process began in December 2003, but
faced immediate and substantial problems related to the operational and logistical
challenges of rapidly initiating a nationwide DDRR program. A key point of the
initial failure related to misinformation about the protocol for paying disarming
combatants when the program began in mid-December. Plans called for a two-stage
payment of $300 to disarming combatants, the first $150 installment to be paid after
initial induction into the DDRR process. When disarming combatants learned that
they would not receive on-the spot payments upon surrendering their weapons, they
rioted and looted in and near the capital. Although the unrest was successfully
suppressed, and UNMIL announced that it would pay each disarming fighter $75 in
exchange for their weapon upon entrance into the cantonment site, the DDRR
process was halted, pending further planning. Other factors that contributed to this
outcome included a series of public criticisms of DDRR plans; LURD’s initial
opposition to the establishment of a DDRR camp in its territory; and the publicly
announced need for more extensive preparations of DDRR camps, further
deployments of UNMIL troops, and public education about the disarmament process.
After repeated postponements, the DDRR process began anew in mid April
2004, and has since recorded significant success, despite a few localized violent
incidents associated with some ex-combatants’ dissatisfaction over the DDRR
process and the mishandling of military materiel. Over 95,000 combatants, more
than double the initial UNMIL projection of 38,000, have been demobilized to date.
The total includes over 12, 600 women and 10,000 children, about 22% of them girls,
and at least 530 foreign combatants. Over 21,000 weapons, predominantly light
weapons, have been turned in, as well as substantial amounts of ammunition and
unexploded ordnance. Disarmament has occurred in most areas of the country,
including some remote border zones.35

34 Paragraph 14, U.N. Security Council, S/2004/725.
35 U.N. Security Council, S/2004/725; IRIN, “Liberia: UN opens last disarmament site in
Harper,” Sept. 30, 2004; UN News Service, “Liberia: UN-run disarmament tops
expectations but aid needed to help ex-fighters,” Oct. 20, 2004.

Disarmament Challenges. Not all ex-combatants inducted into the DDRR
program have surrendered a weapon. This has led to two criticisms of the DDRR
process. First, some critics allege that non-combatants are taking advantage of the
process to gain demobilization payments, a claim denied by UNMIL, which asserts
that it vets all DDRR inductees. Second, some observers fear that the former armed
factions may be sequestering significant caches of weapons, which might facilitate
a return to armed conflict if Liberia’s weak political institutions fail to mediate
competing interests. They point to UNMIL’s seizure of multiple weapons, on several
occasions, as possible evidence for such claims. Similar concerns have been
expressed with regard to the lower-than-anticipated number of heavy weapons being
surrendered. There have been periodic though unconfirmed reports that former
Taylor loyalists may be attempting to recruit and train fighters in southern Guinea,
possibly in order to incite a rebellion against that country’s government, which
opposed that of Taylor.
There have also been reports that some weapons from Liberia have been
smuggled out of Liberia into neighboring countries. Some worry, in particular, that
weapons and/or ex-combatants may cross into neighboring Cote d’Ivoire, where the
political situation remains unsettled, and where DDRR plans call for the payment of
demobilization stipends nearly three times as large as those being offered in Liberia.
A related matter of contention arises because, although not all disarmed ex-
combatants surrendered weapons during the much of the DDRR process to date, in
August 2004, UNMIL officials reportedly began to reject prospective inductees into
disarmament camps who lacked a weapon. While the hand-over of arms is not
presently official policy, UNMIL is reportedly considering requiring male combatants
to turn in a weapon, while exempting disarming female and child combatants from
such an obligation. The alleged rejection of prospective inductees has caused
consternation among those affected. In mid- September 2004, the National
Commission on DDRR (NCDDRR) received a complaint from a former government
commander claiming that 2,000 of his men had been rejected for DDRR.
The completion date for disarmament has also been a matter of contention. In
late August 2004, the deputy UNMIL force commander announced that the
disarmament program would be extended to December. This would mean that
disarmament would continue after refugee repatriation programs, which began in
October, had commenced. The head of UNMIL, Jacques Klein, subsequently
announced that the previously-planned disarmament end-date of October 30 would
be followed. On September 7, however, the NCDDRR rejected the October 30 date,
calling it “unrealistic and unilateral.” It asserted that several disarmament sites had
yet to be opened and that further time for disarmament in remote, seasonally
inaccessible areas was required. A NCDDRR spokesman also stated that none of the
three former armed factions or the NTGL had been officially notified of the date
announced by Klein, a claim later denied by the deputy head of UNMIL. Chairman
Bryant, however, subsequently accepted the October 30 date, and in late September,36

UNMIL opened its last disarmament site.
36 IRIN, “Liberia: DDR Commission Rejects October Deadline for Completing
Disarmament,” Sept. 7, 2004; — , “Liberia: Disarmament Finally Begins in Lofa county,”

A related challenge facing the disarmament process is a reportedly inadequate
level of funding for ex-combatant reintegration programs, due in part to donor
concerns. Some donors reportedly will not release pledges for reintegration support
until the disarmament process has formally ended. While several large reintegration
programs are operating, United Nations and NTGL officials maintain that given
current levels of funding, not all ex-combatants will receive reintegration assistance,
which these officials see as threatening to the sustainability of the DDRR program
as a whole.
Child Soldiers. U.N. agencies have estimated that there are over 15,000 child
soldiers in Liberia, many forcibly recruited by the belligerent forces for use as
soldiers, domestic workers, involuntary sexual companions, and porters.
Disarmament plans include special provisions for addressing the special needs of
child ex-combatants, and a Child Protection Working Group (CPWG) chaired by
UNICEF has been created. In late August 2004, however, UNICEF Carol Bellamy
made press statements indicating that only about half of the UNICEF’s appeal for37
reintegration projects for child ex-combatants had been funded by donors.
In January 2004, an independent National Elections Commission (NEC) was
appointed by the NTGL, as required under Liberia’s CPA; its members include two
former Supreme Court justices and two former Taylor-era members of the NEC. Its
mandate is to ensure the conduct of elections “in a manner that is acceptable to all”
no later than October 200538. As called for under the CPA, the United Nations, in
cooperation with other members of the ICGL (see above), is designing a prospective
U.N. elections assistance program, and possible legal and operational reforms of the
electoral system, as well as a potential elections time line. Such an aid program
would have two key goals: the conduct of “credible” and expertly administered
elections, and the creation of a sustainable national electoral administration capacity
in future elections.
A report of an assessment undertaken in April 2004 by the elections technical
assistance group IFES stated that any eventual electoral framework should address
the following tasks or issues:
!Establishment of electoral system (constituency, number of
representatives, electoral formula);
!Creation of electoral boundaries;
!Determination of type of elections to be held (national, general);
!Eligibility to vote and process for becoming a voter (including
provisions for refugees and IDPs);

36 (...continued)
Sept. 8, 2004.
37 IRIN, “Liberia: Too little money for rehabilitation of former combatants, UNICEF says,”
Aug. 26, 2004.
38 Article XVIII, Electoral Reform, CPA.

!Eligibility and process for political candidacy;
!Political party registration and the electoral campaign processes;
!Elections administration (procedures of operations, appointments);
!Voting, vote-counting, and the announcement of results procedures;
!Sanctions for specific electoral offences;
!Consultative mechanisms;
!Elections observation and guarantees for the rights of political party
representatives; and
!Election dispute resolution.39
An assessment mission by the U.N. Department of Political Affairs Electoral
Assistance Division in April 2004 found that the NEC had “very little material and
staff capacity to carry out civic and voter education, voter registration, constituency
delimitation and polling.” It asserted that these activities could not be carried out in
timely manner without “extensive international assistance.” The United Nations
projects that administration of the elections will require a one year deployment to the
UNMIL electoral unit of 32 international experts, 11 national experts, 49 national
General Service staff; a five-month deployment of an additional 92 national General
Service staff to support the Unit’s data center; a six to nine month deployment of 220
U.N. Volunteers; and the hiring for six months of 4,080 temporary registration staff.
The UNSG has proposed that the cost of these workers, as well as funding for
registration materials and partial funding for voter education materials, be included
in UNMIL’s 2005-2006 budget submission. Under this proposal, however, all direct
NEC Commission funding would have to come from other sources. In addition to
electoral conduct work, the UNMIL CIVPOL unit is preparing for the elections by
supporting the training of about 1,800 Liberian Police Service personnel. UNMIL
projects that a five-week nationwide voter registration exercise will begin in April

2005 and to proceed for around five weeks.40

In July 2004, the NEC chair announced that an estimated $12.4 million would
be required to conduct the election, and that about one third of this cost would likely
be represented by the in-kind support being provided by UNMIL. By comparison,
a rough estimate by IFES in April 2004 totaled “$16 million for an elections and
operational budget for the period of July 2004 - January 2006,” but IFES warned that
“this figure would not include local elections, a costly constituency delimitation
exercise, out-of country refugee registration/voting, and the necessary logistical
The NEC has also begun to prepare for the 2005 election. In July 2004, it
hosted a consultative meeting with Liberian political parties. This process reportedly
generated a consensus that Liberians generally favor a direct, constituency-based
elections, the traditional electoral method in Liberia, rather than proportional party

39 IFES, “Report of an Electoral Assessment and Planning Mission to Liberia, April 4-25,


40 U.N. Security Council, S/2004/725; and — , Third progress report of the
Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in Liberia, S/2004/430, May 26, 2004.
41 IFES, “Report...”

elections, which were employed in the 1997 post-war special election. Following
this consultative process, in late August, the NEC submitted to the NTLA for
ratification a draft electoral law, the Electoral Reform Bill, which is currently under
parliamentary consideration.42 It proposes the following measures, which include
proposed suspensions of articles of the current constitution and a variety of related
legal reforms:
!Suspension of Article 83(b), which requires elections on the basis of
an absolute majority for all public offices. Instead, the president and
vice president would be chosen by a first round absolute majority
(over 50%) vote, to be followed by a simple majority run-off vote
between the two highest vote earners if no candidate received an
absolute majority in the first round vote. County-based simple
majority votes would be used to elect House representatives and
!Due to the “unlikely” probability of a national census before the

2005 elections, suspension of Article 80(d) of the constitution,

which requires a census to demarcate constituencies totaling no
more than 100. Instead, the number of House seats would be fixed
at sixty four, representing multi-member constituencies for each
county. Each winning candidate would be elected by “an
approximately equal number” of voters, though means for
accomplishing this end are not entirely provided for in the bill.
!Due to the increase of counties from nine to fifteen since the
adoption of the current constitution, suspension of Article 78,
requiring political parties to be defined as associations of at least 500
members in each of at least six counties. Instead the same
requirements would apply, but with applicability to at least 12
counties. Currently registered parties would not be subject to this
amendment, and inter-party electoral coalitions would be permitted.
!Funding of the NEC by the public treasury, provided that a formal
finance and audit process overseen by special committees be
established to oversee NEC spending and ensure the accountability
of NEC activities.
!The enactment, for diverse reasons, of a number of technical
amendments to the New Elections Law of 1986, including several
provisions aimed at preventing electoral malfeasance and setting
campaign spending limits.
Due to widespread population displacements, the bill would also:
!Suspend Article 52(c), which requires that presidential and vice
presidential candidates reside Liberia 10 years prior to an election,
but wold add a provision requiring that the two incumbents not come
from the same county;

42 Christopher Melville, “Election Commission Seeks Revision of Liberian Electoral Law,”
WMRC Daily Analysis, Sept. 2, 2004, among others.

!Suspend Article 30(b), which requires one year of residence and
status as taxpayers of all legislative candidates within the
constituencies that they propose to represent; and
!Amend the New Elections Law of 1986 to allow the NEC to
administratively and operationally facilitate the registration and
voting of displaced persons and refugees, and to provide assistance
to illiterate and disabled persons.
Status of Charles Taylor
Taylor Indictment. A key factor that appears to have motivated Taylor’s
departure from power was the unsealing of an indictment against him by the Special
Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) a hybrid U.N.-Sierra Leonean body established to try
those most responsible for war crimes and human rights abuses during Sierra Leone’s43
civil war. The indictment, issued on March 7, 2003, was publicly unsealed on June

4, 2003, as Taylor addressed opening remarks to the Ghana peace talks.

Simultaneously, an arrest warrant for Taylor was issued, and the SCSL requested that
the Ghanaian government detain and transfer him to Sierra Leone for prosecution.
Ghana claimed non-receipt of SCSL’s request, and Taylor abruptly returned to
Liberia, reportedly on a Ghanaian state aircraft. The indictment was seen as
weakening Taylor’s stature and bargaining power; the following day, LURD mounted
a fierce assault on Monrovia, in an apparent bid to gain pre-negotiation military
superiority. The attack, and the initial failure of MODEL to send a delegation to
Ghana, temporarily postponed the talks. LURD threatened to withdraw from the
talks if Taylor, who LURD labeled a war criminal, did not resign. Taylor then
threatened to pull out of talks unless the indictment was lifted. The talks continued,
however, leading to the June 17 cease-fire accord.
Indictment: Implications and Asylum Offer. Taylor’s indictment was
controversial. It was seen by many analysts as a potential impediment to a rapid
political settlement leading to Taylor’s departure from power and from Liberia. In
late June 2003, Abdulsalami Abubakar, the former Nigerian head of state and the
ECOWAS peace negotiations mediator, called the indictment counter-productive to
mediation efforts. Nigeria subsequently offered asylum to Taylor, reportedly with
strong U.S. encouragement. He initially rejected the offer because Nigeria would not
guarantee his safety from extradition to face trial, but later accepted it, after meeting
with Nigerian President Olesegun Obasanjo on July 6, and departed Liberia on
August 11. The exact terms of his asylum were not publicly stated, but the offer
reportedly was made in exchange for Taylor’s agreeing to resign, withdraw from
Liberian politics, and not talk to the press. News reports alleged, however, that he
continued to directly communicate from Nigeria with political allies in Liberia, in an
attempt to exert continuing control over economic, political, and military events in44
Liberia. In mid-September 2003, the Nigerian government rebuked Taylor for his

43 The Special Court is supported, in part, by the United States, which has pledged $20
million over the first three years of its operation.
44 Edward Harris, “Ousted Liberian Leader Controlled a Financial Empire — and Isn’t

actions, warning that it would “not tolerate any breach of this condition and others
which forbid him from engaging in active communication with anyone engaged in
political, illegal or governmental activities in Liberia.”45 Reports of such activities by
Taylor have since declined, and his influence appears to be slowly waning, although
periodically such allegations continue to appear in the media. Some observers of
Liberian affairs believe his influence — as projected through a variety of allies, such
as top former Taylor administration officials who hold high offices in the NTGL —
remains significant.
Nigeria. Taylor’s asylum has caused considerable controversy within Nigeria.
Many Nigerians find the presence in their country of a war crimes indictee repugnant.
Others see Taylor as a long-time enemy of Nigeria, in part because his forces
reportedly murdered and abused Nigerians during and after the first Liberian civil
war. Several Nigerian legislators have called for Nigeria to surrender Taylor to the
International Police Organization (Interpol), which in December 2003 issued a Red
Notice for Taylor in response to a request from the Special Court, but not all46
legislators support such a move. On December 10, 2003, a coalition of Nigerian,
Liberian, and Nigerian NGOs, in collaboration with Open Society, a political reform
and advocacy organization, called on the Nigerian government to revoke Taylor’s
asylum and surrender him to the Special Court47. More recently, in July 2004, a
working quorum of Liberia’s transitional parliament rejected a petition from a
coalition of 80 human rights and pro-democracy groups calling for the parliament to
urge Chairman Bryant to demand that Nigeria extradite Taylor to face trial before the
Taylor’s asylum is also the object of a court case by two Nigerian plaintiffs
seeking transfer of Taylor to the SCSL. The plaintiffs, former businessmen whose
limbs were amputated by Sierra Leonean RUF rebels in 1999, are pursuing a
consolidated court case that seeks to have the Nigerian government reconsider, and
ultimately rescind, its provision of asylum to Taylor. They contend that Taylor’s

44 (...continued)
Giving it Up, Diplomats Say,” Associated Press, Sept. 7, 2003; Tim Weiner “Liberian
Ex-Leader Stole $3 Million as He Left, U.N. Aide Says,” New York Times, Sept. 6, 2003 and
Terence Sesay, “UN’s Liberia Envoy Says Taylor Stole 3 Million Dollars Meant for
Soldiers,” Agence France Presse, Sept. 5, 2003; and Emily Wax, “In Exile, Taylor Exerts
Control,” Washington Post, Sept. 17, 2003.
45 Associated Press, “Nigeria Warns Guest-in-exile Taylor to Stay out of Liberia’s Affairs,”
Sept. 16, 2003, inter alia.
46 See Chinwe Maduagwu and Cosmas Ekpunobi, “Reps’ Panel Wants Taylor Sent to
Interpol,” Daily Champion (Lagos), Dec. 11, 2003 and Stephen Oladidupo and Adeyemi
Adebanjo, “Reps Member Wants FG to Handover Charles Taylor,” P.M. News (Lagos),Dec.

11, 2003. Emeka Mamah, “Why Nigeria Won’t Hand Over Taylor for Trial, By Speaker,”

Vanguard (Lagos), Dec. 16, 2003. An Interpol Red Notice is a criminal “wanted” document
used to seek a subject’s arrest and extradition from a third country based upon the issue of
a legal arrest warrant. Some countries regard such notices as the legal basis for a provisional
arrest, while others view them merely as informational communications.
47 Open Society Justice Initiative, et al., “NGOs Demand Nigeria Revoke Charles Taylor’s
Asylum,” Dec. 10, 2003.

asylum is illegitimate because it was granted by the Nigerian executive branch, rather
than the National Refugee Commission, which they contend has sole legal authority
to decide asylum claims. They claim that the executive’s actions breached their
rights under the Nigerian constitution and international law, and assert that the
Nigerian government’s provision of asylum is obstructing Taylor’s trial before the
SCSL. The government contends that the Nigerian Federal High Court, which is
hearing the case, lacks jurisdiction to entertain a suit filed by the two plaintiffs
because they lack standing in the case, since they are not parties to the SCSL. It also
contends that the plaintiffs’ case was filed after relevant statutes of limitation had
ex pired. 48
In September 2004, the human rights advocacy group Amnesty International
applied to the Federal High Court for leave to submit an amicus curiae (friend of the
court) brief in the case. The brief focuses on two issues: whether war crimes
indictees of the SCSL are entitled under international law to have or retain refugee
status, which the brief concludes is not permitted; and whether under international
law Nigeria must surrender such an indictee if it does not investigate and, if
evidentiarily warranted, prosecute such a case. The brief concludes Nigeria must
investigate the case against Taylor or surrender him to the SCSL for prosecution.49
Status of SCSL Case Against Taylor. Taylor is pursuing efforts to have
the SCSL indictment lifted. In August 2003, his representatives filed a complaint
before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) challenging the jurisdiction of the
Special Court to prosecute him. However, according to an ICJ press release, “no
action will be taken in the proceedings ... unless and until Sierra Leone consents to
the Court’s jurisdiction in the case” — an unlikely prospect, given the Sierra Leone
government’s support for the case against Taylor. The ICJ finding followed a similar
motion first filed before the Special Court itself in July 2003. In late October and
November 2003, the Special Court heard arguments by lawyers for Taylor asserting
that his indictment is invalid because he was head of state, and therefore was immune
from prosecution, when it was issued. His then-legal counsel also maintained that
the Special Court has no power to enforce an arrest warrant outside the borders of
Sierra Leone.
Taylor’s efforts to quash the indictment have failed. In late May 2004, the
SCSL Appeals Chamber rejected Taylor’s claim of immunity from prosecution. The
prosecution team is now awaiting Taylor’s appearance before the SCSL. In addition,
in March 2004, SCSL prosecution agents, acting under a Liberian court warrant,
carried out a search of Taylor’s former residences in Liberia, as well as those of his
key associates. Taylor could also potentially face additional legal charges before the
sub-regional ECOWAS court. The court’s president stated in mid-September 2004

48 Lilian Okenwa , “How Taylor Can Appear in Court,” This Day (Nigeria), September 16,
2004; Iseoluwa Ige, “Legal Moves to Extradite Taylor by Nigerians Invalid,” Vanguard
(Nigeria), September 16, 2004; Nigeria Coalition on the International Criminal Court, et al.,
“Nigerian High Court Agrees to Review Charles Taylor Asylum,” June 3, 2004.
49 Amnesty International, “Nigeria: Amicus Curiae Brief Submitted to the Federal High
Court Reviewing Refugee Status Granted to Charles Taylor,” AI Index, AFR 44/030/2004,
Sept. 23, 2004.

that the court has the authority to hear cases filed by a national of any member state,
including cases pertaining to Taylor’s role in the Liberian conflict or those in other
ECOWAS states.50
Asylum: Debate and Implications. The possibility that asylum might
provide Taylor with de facto indemnity from prosecution prompted considerable
debate over the implication that the conditions pertaining to his departure from
Liberia gave primacy to goals related to political negotiations, rather than those
related to justice and the rule of law. Some policy makers and observers, viewing the
need for peace as paramount, saw Taylor’s extradition to Sierra Leone as a less
pressing objective than a resolution of the war in Liberia and the formation of a
transitional government there. Many advocates of this view — reportedly including
the Bush Administration — do not necessarily support indefinite asylum for Taylor,
but rather may see it as a temporary expedient, and implicitly leave the future
disposition of his case subject to legal decisions by the Special Court and decisions
by the Nigerian government.51 Other observers, including some Members of
Congress, maintain that Taylor must face the serious charges against him, and that
his asylum substantially undermines the deterrent effect on other human rights
abusers, including the armed parties in Liberia, of the prospect of being subjected to
criminal sanctions.52
Pressure on Nigeria. Some advocate bringing pressure on Nigeria, which
asserts that it “will not be harassed” over its asylum offer, to extradite Taylor, and
several provisions of U.S. law support that goal, in part by conditioning some U.S.
aid to Nigeria on its transfer of Taylor to the SCSL.53 Some observers worry,
however, that such legislation unfairly targets Nigeria, and could damage
U.S.-Nigerian relations or be perceived as unjustifiably punishing Nigeria, and
thereby potentially undercut its extensive efforts to bring peace to Liberia. They
argue that the transfer of Taylor to Nigeria was undertaken with full U.S. cognizance
and reportedly was urged by Secretary of State Colin Powell. In addition, they stress
that Nigerian ECOWAS officials were central in the mediation of the CPA and note
that Nigeria spearheaded the ECOMIL intervention and is a leading UNMIL troop
contributing country.
U.S. Law and Taylor. Several U.S. legislative provisions pertain to Taylor’s
asylum. P.L. 108-106 includes $2 million for “for rewards for an indictee of the

50 PANA Daily Newswire, “ECOWAS Court May Try Charles Taylor,” September 16, 2004.
51 See “Daily Press Briefing,”Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman, State Department, Dec. 4,

2003, among other official remarks on Taylor’s asylum in Nigeria.

52 House International Relations Committee, “Hyde, Lantos Urge Powell to Release Funds
for Sierra Leone Court Facing Security Threats,” June 13, 2003. See also Human Rights
Watch, “Letter to President Obasanjo on Bringing Charles Taylor to Justice,” Nov. 17,

2003; Amnesty International, “Nigeria: No impunity for Charles Taylor,” AFR 44/024/2003,

Aug. 12, 2003; and U.N. IRIN, “Liberia-Nigeria: Questions raised over Taylor’s exile in
Nigeria,” Aug. 21, 2003.
53 Amnesty International, “Nigeria: Amnesty International Seeks to Intervene in Case
Reviewing Asylum Granted to Former Liberian President Charles Taylor,” AI Index, AFR

44/029/2004, Sept. 22, 2004.

Special Court for Sierra Leone.” Though it does not mention Taylor by name, this
provision is widely assumed to be targeted at and applicable to him. After the
enactment of P.L. 108-106, the Nigerian government, which called the reward
provision “an incitement to terrorism,” increased security for Taylor, and asserted
that the provision might prompt violations of its sovereignty54.
State Department officials oppose such infringements of sovereignty or
associated illegal actions and assert that the apprehension of indictees for which there
are U.S. rewards should be undertaken by appropriate government authorities. They
also contend that such rewards are not fugitive bounties; rather, according to the State
Department, when offered, they are given in exchange for credible information
leading to a fugitive’s apprehension and transfer to the appropriate court of
jurisdiction, on a case-by-case basis. In Taylor’s case, they maintain, no reward is
necessary because Taylor is under the control of the Nigerian government. The offer
of a reward for his apprehension would be potentially offered only if he becomes a
fugitive. S. 2809, the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary,
and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2005, would provide funding for
emergencies in the diplomatic and consular service, providing that funds previously
appropriated “for rewards for an indictee of the Special Court for Sierra Leone” be
transferred to the SCSL55. Other U.S. legislation has concerned the Nigerian
government. P.L. 108-199 which contains FY2004 foreign operations appropriations,
incorporated some provisions similar to those in H.R. 2800 (Kolbe). These include
measures that could deny some forms of U.S. assistance to Nigeria, including funds
for debt restructuring, if it fails to surrender and transfer Taylor to the Special Court.
U.S. Policy
For much of 2002 until June 2003, Bush Administration policy toward Liberia
centered on three activities: urging the Taylor Administration and its armed
opponents to uphold human rights norms, cease armed hostilities, and engage in
direct negotiations; providing emergency humanitarian assistance; and providing
relatively small amounts of development assistance (DA). DA, administered by the
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), supported international and
local NGO projects. These sought to increase access to basic health care; bolster
food security by improving food crop production, processing and marketing
capacities and small-scale community-level income generation and infrastructure

54 Such concerns followed reports that Northbridge Services Group, a U.K.-based military
services firm, had in mid-2003 attempted to procure a $4 million deal to forcibly apprehend
Taylor, and turn him over to the Special Court. In mid-December 2003, the group floated
a similar plan, this time in exchange for the $2 million reward, a proposition that was
sharply attacked by Nigeria. See Thomas Catan, James Harding And Michael Peel, “FBI
investigates offer by private military company to arrest Liberian president,” Financial
Times, Aug. 7, 2003; and Anton La Guardia, “Mercenaries told they can seize Taylor,” The
Daily Telegraph, July 25, 2003; and BBC News, “Firm seeks Charles Taylor bounty, Dec.

11, 2003, and — , “Nigeria warns off bounty hunters,” Dec. 12, 2003.

55 State Department, “Daily Press Briefing for Nov. 10,” Nov. 10, 2003; and — , “Daily
Press Briefing for Nov. 25,” Nov. 25, 2003.

building capacities; and support adult literacy and providing civic education and
public information. USAID also focused on improving prospects for successful
electoral change, primarily through capacity building efforts targeted at civil society
groups and local independent media.
Responses to Increasing Conflict. Beginning in late May and early June
2003, Administration activities relating to Liberia shifted toward ensuring the
protection of Americans and U.S. government personnel and assets in Liberia, and
facilitating the Liberian cease-fire and peace negotiations in Accra, Ghana
(June-August 2003). Several U.S. military teams were dispatched to the region to
bolster security for the U.S. embassy, which was hit by mortar fire and stray bullets
during heavy fighting in Monrovia, and to evacuate Americans. The French military
also evacuated Americans from Liberia.
Embassy Attacks. On June 25, 2003 Greystone, a U.S. embassy storage
compound occupied by thousands of civilians fleeing fighting and mortar fire, was
hit by two explosions during a second major assault by LURD on Monrovia. Three
persons were killed, including two local embassy workers, and 16 were injured. The
State Department issued a sharp condemnation of the attack, after earlier labeling the
LURD assault a “serious violation of the cease-fire” and stated that the attack might
remove “any international credibility or recognition” retained by LURD56. On June

26, Liberian crowds piled eleven bodies, including children, in front of the U.S.

embassy, in a demonstration calling for immediate U.S. intervention to halt the
fighting. On July 20, a team of 21 U.S. Marines, part of a 41 member Fleet
Anti-Terrorism Security Team (FAST) trained to guard U.S. diplomatic installations,
was deployed to Monrovia. Upon its arrival, the FAST faced a hail of mortar fire
falling in the vicinity of the embassy. Its deployment was backed by U.S. air
transport teams based in Senegal and Sierra Leone; the latter carried out several
evacuations from Monrovia. In late July 2003, all of these U.S. military elements
became part of a larger U.S. military effort, dubbed Joint Task Force Liberia.
Conflict Resolution Efforts. The United States, a key member of the ICGL,
actively participated in the peace negotiations in Ghana. These efforts sought to
improve the security environment in Monrovia; enable then-suspended or otherwise
interrupted emergency relief operations to resume; and to further resolve the conflict
and a transition of state power. After a cease-fire agreement was signed on June 17,
the United States repeatedly and strongly urged the Liberian belligerents to adhere
to it, and to prevent civilian casualties. In late July, Deputy Assistant Secretary of
State Pamela Bridgewater traveled to Guinea, where she reportedly met with LURD
Chairman Sekou Conneh and Guinean government officials to emphasize the need
for an end to the conflict and for Guinean support of LURD. Her visit was quickly
followed by a visit to Guinea by Walter Kansteiner, Assistant Secretary of State for
Africa, who reiterated Bridgewater’s message to Guinean officials.

56 Associated Press, “Fighting Engulfs Liberia’s Capital, Explosives Wound Refugees in
U.S. Compound,” June 25, 2003; MSNBC News Services, “3 Killed in Blasts at U.S.
Compound,” June 25, 2003.

In July and August 2003, the United States assisted the deployment of ECOMIL
to Liberia (see “Overview and Recent Developments,” above) — a course of action
that was preceded by extensive public debate about the potential and relative merit
of a direct U.S. military intervention. Once ECOMIL had deployed, U.S. policy
makers pushed for the creation of a U.N. peacekeeping mission in Liberia. The
United States also acted to protect the interests of some Liberians living in the United
States by granting to those who qualified for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).57
U.S. Intervention in Liberia: Debate and Policy Responses
Many Liberians and a number of foreign policy advocates had for several years
called for direct international intervention in Liberia — preferably, in their view, a
U.S. led intervention — to stop the civil war and assist in resolving the political
issues underlying it. As fighting in and around Monrovia grew, such calls, including
several from world leaders, increased, contributing to a growing debate in the press
and among U.S. policy makers about a potential U.S. intervention in Liberia.
Perspectives on Intervention. Proponents of a potential U.S. intervention
in Liberia argued that the United States had long been involved in Liberia —
beginning by founding it — and benefitted from substantial and enduring Liberian
support for the United States during the Cold War. Opponents argued that bilateral
ties had weakened considerably since the 1980s, and that Liberia was peripheral to
U.S. interests; that its conflict was essentially an internal political contest for state
power; that potential dangers to U.S. troops, if deployed to Liberia, were not
warranted; and that the United States was already over-extended militarily across the
globe. Some warned that U.S. troops in Liberia would face dangers akin to those
faced by the U.S. intervention in Somalia in 1992, in which 29 Americans died.
Proponents asserted that Liberia’s political and military situation was qualitatively
different from that of Somalia, and that its citizens welcomed Americans. They also
argued that Liberia had become a lynchpin for persistent political and economic
instability; had engendered increasingly porous border zones beset by cross-border
crime, arms flows, and smuggling; and was the source of severe regional
humanitarian crises. Liberia had become a failed state, they asserted, that
undermined regional U.S. democracy and governance policy goals and constituted
a direct threat to the United States by providing operational space for international
criminal actors and international terrorists. They cited reports that the Taylor
government had directly aided international terrorist financing by allegedly58
facilitating the purchase by Al Qaeda operatives of Sierra Leonean diamonds.
Initial U.S. Responses. U.S. officials responded to mounting calls for U.S.
military intervention by stating that they were assessing the situation in Liberia. They
offered no firm commitments or pledges to deploy U.S. troops, however, and
suggested that African militaries could mount an effective intervention force.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld noted that African troops had “been

57 TPS is a temporary “safe harbor”immigration status granted to qualified nationals of some
countries affected by ongoing armed conflict, natural disaster, or other difficulties. See CRS
Report RS20844, Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues.
58 See CRS Report RL30751, Diamonds and Conflict: Background, Policy, and Legislation.

well-trained” and equipped for peacekeeping by the United States59. On June 30,
2003 James Cunningham, the U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the U.N., said that prior
to the establishment of an intervention force, the United States would require that
Taylor give up power; that a political agreement among the Liberian parties be
finalized; and that there be international support for a continued peace process.60
Humanitarian Assessment and Security Team. In early July 2003, a
U.S. Humanitarian Assessment and Security Team (HAST) was dispatched from
U.S. European Command (EUCOM) to Monrovia. The 32-member team included
experts with medical, contracting, civil engineering, logistics, water purification and
other technical expertise, and a security component. Initial plans called for the
HAST to undertake an assessment over a week, but the mission was extended61.
Some observers supportive of a U.S. intervention, but skeptical that one would take
place, viewed the HAST as a stop-gap measure undertaken to demonstrate U.S.
engagement with Liberia and counter growing international pressure for a U.S.-led
intervention on the eve of President Bush’s July 7-12 state visit to Africa.62
Military Assistance and Monitoring. A second U.S. military team was
dispatched to ECOWAS member states to assess the force readiness and military
logistical and equipment needs of these countries prior to their anticipated
deployment of a joint intervention force to Liberia, and to assess a possible U.S. role
in supporting such a force63. The United States also deployed a private contractor as
a member of the Joint Verification Team, a monitoring body that was to be created
under the June 2003 cease-fire accord. The contractor performed liaison functions

59 Jonathan Paye Layleh, “Liberia’s Chief Rebel Group Urges Americans to Lead
International Peace Force,” Associated, June 30, 2003 and “U.S. Resist Pressure to Intervene
in Liberia,” Reuters, June 30, 2003.
60 Scott Lindlaw, “White House Considering U.S. Role in Liberia, amid Calls for Military
Action,” Associated Press, June 30, 2003.
61 Voice of America, “Pentagon Sources: US Assessment Team’s Stay in Liberia
Open-Ended,” July 15, 2003. On August 17, 2003, the Los Angeles Times reported that the
HAST team had completed a report during President Bush’s Africa trip that reportedly
recommended that a 2,300-strong U.S. Marine Expeditionary Unit be deployed to Liberia
to stabilize the country and protect civilians. The recommendations were reportedly
reviewed by top Administration policy makers, and the HAST was ordered to revise the
report because its conclusions were said to be at odds with policy makers’ preferences. A
revised report, submitted a week later, reportedly described a need for “security” to “be
established so that humanitarian organizations can undertake an appropriate emergency
response,” but contained no specific recommendations for a U.S. military intervention.
Defense Department officials reportedly maintained that the HAST report had addressed
matters outside the scope of its assessment mandate. See Maggie Farley, Ann Simmons and
Paul Richter, “Team in Liberia Sought Fast Aid,” Los Angeles Times, August 17, 2003.
62 Howard Witt, “U.S.: No Decision Yet on Liberia; Advisers Arrive in Monrovia; Bush En
Route to Africa,” Chicago Tribune, July 8, 2003.
63 Vicky O’Hara, “Analysis: Pros and Cons of Sending US Troops to Help Enforce a
Cease-fire in Liberia’s Long-running Civil War,” National Public Radio, July 11, 2003; and
Dow Jones/Associated Press, “US Military Experts, W African Officials Discuss Liberia,”
July 11, 2003.

on behalf of the United States and the ICGL. The same delegate later assisted
ECOWAS to undertake a pre-deployment assessment mission, and subsequently
acted as a liaison between ECOMIL and the Joint Task Force Liberia, and helped
ECOMIL form the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC), as provided for under the
Joint Task Force Liberia. In late July 2003, just prior to the arrival a U.S.
Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) off the Liberian coast, U.S. military elements in
the region responding to events in Liberia were integrated into an ad-hoc operational
unit dubbed Joint Task Force Liberia. The ARG, which arrived in early August, was
deployed in anticipation of possible contingencies requiring a military role, most
notably the provision of U.S. assistance to the ECOMIL. It complemented the air
support and embassy security teams already in the region. Personnel from the ARG,
part of Joint Task Force Liberia, provided coordination support for PAE’s delivery
of goods and logistics services to ECOMIL (see “Overview and Recent
Developments,” above), and undertook various other security, flight, and64
infrastructure/logistical assessment duties in Liberia.
U.S. Assistance: Development Assistance
Three types of U.S. assistance is provided to Liberia: long-term development aid
(DA); emergency humanitarian assistance; and post-conflict-focused International
Disaster and Famine Assistance (IDFA) aid. Budget figures for these accounts are
presented in Appendix 1. The USAID DA program during the latter years of the
Taylor presidency exclusively aided NGOs, notably those engaged in primary health
care, agriculture, and peace-building activities. It was inactive, however, for much
of FY2003 due to insecurity associated with the war. The bulk of USAID’s FY2004
programs in Liberia are being funded under IDFA. FY2004 DA assistance is limited
to $2.4 million in Child Survival and Health (CSH) programs that support capacity-
building for community-based basic health services delivery organizations, and
$100,000 in Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining, and Related/Small Arms
and Light Weapons Destruction (NADR-SALW) funds. In addition, a three-year,
$1.5 million Displaced Children and Orphans Fund program targeting vulnerable
children has been initiated, and some Patrick J. Leahy War Victims Fund monies are
being used to aid disabled children. USAID’s West Africa Regional Program
supports a small HIV/AIDS information project.
Programs under the Bush Administration’s FY2005 request for Liberia would
complement and extend core IDFA program goals. Under the USAID request, an
integrated set of CSH programs ($1.997 million) would improve access, quality and
demand for health services through various capacity-building initiatives. Under
USAID’s Community Revitalization and Reintegration program ($.545 million in
DA and $25 million in ESF), USAID would resettle and reintegrate refugees, IDPs
and ex-combatants in their permanent post-war communities of residence, as well as
promote good governance, reconstruction, and economic development. In addition,
$5 million in State Department International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement

64 Reuters, “Handful of US Marines ordered into Liberia,” August 6, 2003; and Voice of
America, “US Troops to Arrive in Liberia Wednesday,” August 6, 2003.

(INCLE) funds would be used to continue to extend IDFA programs aimed at
creating a “credible and competent” national Liberian police force and competent
judicial institutions, and promoting various anti-corruption measures.
U.S. Emergency and Post-War Assistance
The delivery of U.S. emergency humanitarian assistance to Liberia, provided by
USAID’s Offices of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and Food for Peace
(FFP), flowed to Liberia as the conflict grew, beginning with aid provided after a
Complex Emergency for the Mano River countries (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra
Leone) was declared in FY2002. In FY2003, a Liberia-specific Complex Emergency
was declared. As of August 27, 2004, total U.S. humanitarian assistance to Liberia
in FY2004 totaled $72.96 million.65 Such aid has supported:
!Shelter and camp management activities for internally displaced
persons (IDPs) and returning refugees, and IDP abuse protection
initiatives, including those targeting sexual/gender-based violence;
!Targeted emergency food assistance, which includes staple food
commodities, provided through direct distribution and food for work
programs, and targeted therapeutic and supplementary feeding
programs delivered to vulnerable individuals and through emergency
school feeding, maternal/child health programs;
!Measles immunization and other health programs, including in IDP
!Access to water and sanitation;
!Support for the coordination, logistics, and information activities of
the U.N. and other humanitarians organizations; and
!Reintegration of Liberian returnees and IDPs.
USAID also helped create the Humanitarian Information Center (HIC) for
Liberia, an information clearing house for humanitarian aid agencies in Liberia
managed by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
OFDA disaster assessment teams carried out multiple evaluation missions in the
months after the peace accord. Their findings helped shape preparations for both
continuing USAID emergency aid programs and post-conflict recovery assistance.
These preparations also draw from assessment missions undertaken by USAID’s
Africa Bureau and Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), and information from the
U.S. diplomatic mission in Monrovia.

65 USAID, “Liberia,” Complex Emergency Situation Report #14, FY2004, August 27, 2004.
Such aid totaled $6.25 million in FY2002 and $35.5 million in FY2003.

Current U.S. Assistance Programs
In addition to supporting the operation of UNMIL, current U.S. Liberia-related
assistance funds a variety of programs meant to consolidate Liberia’s transition to
peace. USAID and the departments of State, the Treasury, and Defense, both
individually and in ad-hoc inter-agency working groups, are implementing this
integrated package of post-war assistance, which is being predominantly funded by
approximately $200 million in IDFA funds appropriated under P.L. 108-106.
Key Issues. Key considerations guiding the pace of delivery and the
organization of this aid include:
!The potentially limited capacity of the NTGL, Liberian
non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other local
organizations to efficiently use or absorb large quantities of external
!The need to ensure that programs of assistance and capacity-building
produce sustainable and durable results; and
!The need to incorporate audit functions and a monitoring role for the
USAID Inspector General for all USAID-provided assistance to
Liberia, and for Treasury Department efforts and general U.S.
assistance programs to stress the need for public accountability in
Liberia, given the relatively large size of the IDFA aid package, and
given Liberia’s long history of public sector corruption.
The IDFA aid has been programed for delivery in two “phases,” the first worth
a total of $144 million, and the second $86 million, as reflected in tables 1 and 2:

Table 1. U.S. Assistance for Liberia: IDFA, Phase I
($ millions)
rogram AreasAmountProgram SummariesImplementing
lief and Resettlement19.5 International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC): Hospital services, water/sanitation programs, familyState/PRM (a)
r Returnees andtracing/reunification, and provision of non-food items for IDPs and refugees ($4.5 million).
emainees I U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): Refugee and related IDP protection and assistance,repatriation and reintegration ($11 million).
International Organization for Migration (IOM): Various resettlement assistance functions, in coordination
with UNHCR and ICRC ($1 million).
Other International Organizations: Water/sanitation programs in IDP camps; resettlement transit assistance;
and community-based reintegration/recovery support in targeted; UNICEF and UNDP, in cooperation with
UNHCR ($3 million).
lief and Resettlement24.5 Agriculture for work/seeds and tools programs and community-based food for work repair of socialUSAID/OFDA (b)
iki/CRS-RL32243r Returnees andinfrastructure ($8 million).
g/wemainees II Community-based school and various specially-targeted feeding programs ($4 million).
s.or Health and water/sanitation infrastructure rehabilitation and upgrades. and staff training/assistance ($10
leak millio n) .
Aid coordination and logistical support ($1.5 million).
://wiki Abuse prevention among IDPs and returnees populations ($1 million).
http5 Targeted quick impact reintegration support.USAID/OTI (c)
esettlement and
45 Rehabilitation by community-based labor brigades of public services infrastructure; vocational training,USAID/AFR (d)
esettlement andtechnical assistance, and micro-credit programming; and psycho-social counseling for female and child ex-
ommunitycombatants and armed faction associates ($40 million). Condensed remedial primary school education (Advanced Learning Program, or ALP) targeting ex-
ation andcombatants and war-affected youth. ($5 million).
asic Social Services
ivil Police and Related10 Liberian police force training programs and support, in coordination with UNMIL, including basic policeState/INL (e)

skills and human rights components; and judicial system assistance and reform, including training focusing
on ethics and anti-corruption, and on legal and procedural knowledge, and provision of law books and basic
supplies required for basic court functions.

rogram AreasAmountProgram SummariesImplementing
overnance and7 Provision of targeted technical assistance and “Ministries in a Box packages to core NTGL components,USAID/OTI
Mediasuch as the Chairmans office, and key ministries and offices, and support of citizen participation in
governance ($5 million).
Media capacity-building assistance, including the creation of community radio stations, to increase the
substantially illiterate public’s access to basic information, in local languages, about the peace process and
government; help build an enduring free and balanced press; increase human rights awareness and abuse
prevention; promote conflict mediation and reconciliation capacity-building, particularly in relation to
resettlement processes ($2 million).
eform (SSR)1 Program of State Department/DoD assessment of DDRR, military facilities and camps, and consultationsState/RSA (f); and
with Liberian citizens and officials, and U.N. agencies, prior to formulating proposals for possible U.S.Defense Department
military restructuring and reform assistance.(DoD)
orest Sector1 Assessment of Liberia’s forestry sector, seen as a key environmental and public revenue source for Liberia,State/OES (g)
ehabilitationfocusing on Liberia’s institutional capacity to formulate and enforce laws, regulations, policies;
iki/CRS-RL32243transparently allocate and regulate forestry concessions; and track and manage forestry revenues ($.5million).
g/w Immediate rebuilding of the capacities of the Liberian Forest Development Authority (FDA) with respect to
s.orissues under assessment, with a focus on the training, operational, and facilities needs of its administrative
leakand law enforcement staff ($.5 million).
://wiki to the Centralnk1 Provision of resident advisors in Liberia, slated, in coordination with international financial institutions and“predicated upon a thorough audit of the [Liberian] Central Bank, to assist Liberias government to re-Treasury Department
httpestablish core revenue/taxation, debt, and budgeting functions and institutions. Focal areas of assistance
may include helping the Central Bank to formulate and implement credible fiduciary controls and monetary
policies and reduce its operating expenses. Programing may also provide other economic policy
formulation support to the NTGL.
TAL 114
: Information from USAID and the State Department.
RM: Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration, Statee. International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement, State Department
artmentf. Regional Security Affairs-Africa Bureau State Department
: Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, USAIDg. Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental Scientific Affairs (OES), State
I: Office of Transition Initiatives, USAIDDepartment

FR: Africa Bureau, USAID

Table 2. U.S. Assistance for Liberia: IDFA, Phase II
($ millions)
rogram AreasAmountProgram SummariesImplementing
eform (SSR)34 Establishment of a new military, likely of 5,000-6000 personnel, to meet core national security needsState; DoD;
under a democratic system. Programming is anticipated to take two-three to years; require additionalContractors
funding from unspecified sources, possibly including support from other donor governments.
ebt Arrearages15 Reduction of Liberia’s debt arrearages to multilateral development banks (MDBs) to enable MDB fiscalTreasury
support, in part aimed at leveraging additional resources, possibly including arrearage payment aid from
other donors.
3 Continued support for police retraining.State/INL
lections10 Elections preparation assistance focusing on electoral commission capacity building; political party andUSAID
polling place worker training; civil society election observation; and election materials, equipment and
iki/CRS-RL32243other polling day requirements.reasury Advisors for2.5 Deployment of resident advisers on budgeting, banking, tax, and debt issues. A separate, additional $2.5Treasury
g/wiscal and Financialmillion aid package may be provided in support of second year of costs for resident advisers and a resident
s.ormacro-economic advisor. Treasury may deploy an attaché to Monrovia to assist in advisory coordination,
leakregular bilateral functions, and provision of support to Liberian customs.
10 Support for socio-economic reintegration of ex-combatants, IDPs, and war-affected populations intoUSAID
://wikicommunities, and for general social and economic growth in Liberia; focus on employment creation,
httpincome generation, and work skills-building.
orestry3 Continued forest sector rehabilitation and natural resources management capacity-building programmingState/OES; USAID;
USFS (a)
Law/ Judicial6 Re-development of judicial institutions, including criminal courts and democratic institutions, and theUSAID; State/INL; and
formcapacities of civil society and protect human rights institutions, in support of a sustainable transition to aJustice Department
market-oriented, democratic political system.
IV/AIDS1.5 HIV/AIDS testing and epidemiological surveillance of ex-combatants and other high risk groups, and USAID
provision of voluntary counseling and preventive services in resettled communities; program intended to
prevent potentially high increase in post-war HIV infections rates as a complement to treatment assistance
from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
griculture1 Rehabilitation of smallholder rubber sector for purposes of future income generation, particularly forUSAID
women, focusing on tree re-planting and development of tree nurseries.
TAL 86
:Information from USAID and the State Department.
a. USFS: U.S. Forest Service /International Programs.

Other Aspects of U.S. Policy toward Liberia. In December 2003,
President Bush issued Presidential Determination No. 2004-11, which, on the basis
of a finding that U.S. assistance to Liberia is in the U.S. national interest, waived
“Brooke Amendment”requirements that would otherwise have barred or restricted
such aid66. The State Department has also stated that the United States has concluded
a bilateral “Article 98 agreement” with Liberia, in part to protect the safety of U.S.
personnel operating in Liberia, thus allowing the United States to provide certain67
kinds of military assistance to Liberia. The United States is also involved in efforts
to assess Liberia’s progress toward meeting the provisions under which U.N.
sanctions against it may be lifted.
Murder of U.S. Official. No recent progress has been reported in the
investigation of the May 2004 murder in Monrovia of John Auffrey, a Defense
Department civilian employee who was a member of a U.S. mission that assessed
needs and prospects for Liberian military restructuring. Auffrey, a former U.S. Peace
Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone, was fatally stabbed during a robbery in his hotel
room. Soon after the crime, four suspects were provisionally identified, and at least
three rewards were offered for information leading to their apprehension. In June

2004, three Liberian police officers were reportedly charged with aiding the suspects,

and several suspects linked to the killing were later charged with murder. The main
suspect, however, who was reportedly sighted in August 2004 in a country adjacent
to Liberia, remains at large.68
Congressional Role
From June 2003 through September of that year, Liberia garnered frequent
Congressional attention, most notably over the issue of a potential U.S. intervention
in Liberia. Reactions by some Members of Congress to potential U.S. intervention

66 The “Brooke Amendment” is the popular name for provisions of the Foreign Assistance
Act (FAA) of 1961, as amended, and individual fiscal year appropriations acts, that prohibit
assistance to countries that are in default to the United States for certain kinds or portion of
loans owed to the United States.
67 State Department, “Daily Press Briefing,” October 8, 2003. “Article 98" agreements are
bilateral agreements with national governments that provide U.S. nationals in third countries
with immunity from actions of the International Criminal Court (ICC). In addition to the
CRS reports cited previously, see State Department, Article 98 Agreements and the
International Criminal Court, []; and Coalition for the
International Criminal Court, US and the ICC, available online from the ICC website at
[ h t t p : / / www.i c c now.or g/ doc ume n t s / u s a ndt he i c c .ht ml ] .
68 Sheriff Z. Adams, “Wanted Man ‘Spotted’ Govt Quotes Intelligent Sources,” The News,
Aug. 18; IRIN, “Liberia: Police Identify Four Suspects Linked to US Civilian Killing,” May
28, 2004; The Analyst, “More Money on Boye T. Moore,” June 7, 2004; PANA, “Liberian
policemen linked to murder of US military official,” June 1, 2004; Agency France-Press,
“50 arrests after murder of US national in Liberia,” June 2, 2004; Anthony A. Mesas,
“Service Saturday for man killed in Liberia,” The Pueblo Chieftain, June 11, 2004; and
Mike Boater, “Memorial to Mr. John Auffrey,” International Training Management, Defense
Institute of Security Assistance Management, N.D.

in Liberia varied widely. Some, notably several Members of the Congressional Black
Caucus, urged that immediate and substantial U.S. resources and actions be taken to
resolve the conflict in Liberia and provide its people with what these Members saw
as badly-needed humanitarian assistance69. Other Members voiced considerable
caution or outright opposition in relation to direct U.S. military intervention in
Liberia. Representative Ron Paul, for instance, introduced H.Con.Res. 255, entitled
“Expressing the sense of the Congress that the United States military should not
become involved in the Liberian civil war, either alone or as part of a United Nations
peacekeeping force.”70 Congressional debate incorporated many of the perspectives
previously outlined (see “Debate on U.S. Intervention in Liberia”). Many Members
urged the Administration to confer closely with Congress and keep Members clearly
informed about U.S. policy decisions on Liberia. Some called for a vote in Congress
on any decision to deploy U.S. troops on the ground.
On October 2, 2003, the House Committee on International Relations
Subcommittee on Africa held a hearing entitled U.S. Policy Toward Liberia. Liberia
also featured prominently in hearings held during summer, 2003, by the House
Armed Services Committee; the Senate Committee on Armed Services; the Senate
Committee on Foreign Relations; and the House Committee on International
Current Appropriations. H.R. 4818 (Kolbe). Foreign Operations, Export
Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2005, introduced July 13,
2004, was reported by the House Committee on Appropriations as an original
measure, H.Rept. 108-599, on July 13, 2004. It was passed by the House on July 15,
2004 and subsequently amended and passed by the Senate, along with a request for
a conference, on September 23, 2004, in lieu of S. 2812. During Senate
consideration of H.R. 4818, Senator Leahy offered S.Amdt. 3684, providing not less
than $25 million in ESF assistance for Liberia, which was agreed to by unanimous
consent. In addition, the Senate version of H.R. 4818 would provide Liberia with a
portion of $5 million to address sexual and gender-based violence; and not less than
$30 million in Foreign Military Financing aid. The House version contained no
similar Liberia-related provisions.

69 House, “Africa,” Congressional Record, July 8, 2003, H6324 to H6330, passim; — ,
“Africa,” Extensions of Remarks - July 8, 2003, E1425, — , “U.S. Can No Longer Afford
to Ignore Africa,” July 9, 2003, H6434-H6435; and , inter alia, [],
“Congressional Black Caucus on the ‘The State of Africa,’” July 10, 2003; Voice of
America, “African-American Lawmakers Look Carefully at US Involvement in Liberia,”
July 10, 2003; and Mark Kuki, “Liberia Revisited,” National Journal, July 12, 2003.
70 Similarly, during House debate on the Iraq Supplemental, H.R. 3289, Rep. Goode
introduced H.Amdt. 413, which would have eliminated funding for reimbursement to the
United Nations for peacekeeping in Liberia and U.S. foreign assistance to Liberia, primarily
because, according to Rep. Goode, the purpose of the “supplemental is Iraq, not Liberia.”
Rep. Best also said that he feared such funds would “not be utilized in a way that will be
to the best interest of the United States” and would “not bring the peace and the hope for a
good Liberia.” See House, Congressional Record, Oct. 16, 2003, H9590-9591.

2003 Iraq Supplemental Assistance for Liberia. The key source of U.S.

assistance for Liberia is P.L. 108-106, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations
Act for Defense and for the Reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, 2004, (H.R.
3289 [C. W. Bill Young]). P.L. 108-106 was passed by Congress and signed into
law by President Bush following the deployment of UNMIL and the inauguration of
the NTGL. It appropriates International Disaster and Famine Assistance (IDFA)
funds for Liberia totaling approximately $200 million to support peace and
humanitarian intervention operations unrelated to natural disasters, and $245 million
for the assessed costs of U.N. peacekeeping in Liberia. During Senate debate on S.
1689 (Stevens), the Iraq Supplemental Appropriations bill (FY2004), which was
incorporated into P.L. 108-106, several Liberia-related amendments were offered.
These included S.Amdt. 1884 (Byrd); S.Amdt. 1885 (Brownback); and S.Amdt. 1807
Other Enacted Legislation. Other Liberia-related bills that passed into law
during the 108th Congress include:
H.J.Res. 2 (C. W. Bill Young). Joint Resolution making consolidated
appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2003, and for other purposes.
Introduced January 7, 2003; enacted as P.L. 108-007. Prohibits the appropriation of
Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Liberia; and requires special notification for
any funds appropriated by the Act for Liberia.
H.R. 2673 (Bonilla). The Omnibus Appropriations Act, FY2004. Introduced
July 9, 2003; enacted as P.L. 108-199. It prohibits the use of FMF funds for Liberia.
Requires regular notification to the Committees on Appropriations about use of the
funds for Liberia appropriated under the Act. Recognizes the contribution of the
Nigerian government to promoting stability and reconciliation in Liberia. Includes
measures that could deny some forms of U.S. assistance to Nigeria, including funds
for debt restructuring. Such measures are applicable to Nigeria because it is a
country in which an indictee of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), i.e.,
Charles Taylor, is “credibly alleged to be living.” Under the Act, such a country can
receive certain kinds of U.S. assistance only if the Secretary of State determines and
reports to the Committees on Appropriations that such a government is cooperating
with the SCSL, including by surrendering and transferring to the SCSL persons it has
indicted. The president can waive such stipulations in the interest of U.S. national
security, if certain conditions are met.
Other Legislation Introduced. Other Liberia-specific bills and resolutions
introduced in the 108th Congress include the following:
H.Con.Res. 233 (Fossella). Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the
dire humanitarian situation in Liberia and efforts to introduce peace and justice to
that country; introduced June 26, 2003 and referred to the House Committee on
International Relations.
H.Con.Res. 240 (Payne). Expressing the sense of Congress with respect to the
urgency of providing support for the “Agreement on Ceasefire and Cessation of
Hostilities Between the Government of the Republic of Liberia and Liberians United
for Reconciliation and Democracy and the Movement for Democracy of Liberia” and

for other purposes; introduced July 8, 2003 and referred to the House Committee on
International Relations.
H.Con.Res. 255 (Paul). Expressing the sense of the Congress that the United
States military should not become involved in the Liberian civil war, either alone or
as part of a United Nations peacekeeping force; introduced July 24, 2003 and referred
to the House Committee on International Relations.
H.R. 1930 (Patrick J. Kennedy). Liberian Refugee Immigration Protection
Act of 2003; introduced May 1, 2003; referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration,
Border Security, and Claims, Committee on the Judiciary.
S. 656 (Reed). Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 2003; introduced
March 19, 2003, read twice, and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
H.R. 3918 (Jackson-Lee). Comprehensive Immigration Fairness Reform Act
of 2004; introduced March 9, 2004; referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration,
Border Security, and Claims, Committee on the Judiciary.
H.R. 4885 (Jackson-Lee). Comprehensive Immigration Fairness Act;
introduced July 21, 2004; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
H.R. 4511 (Waters). The Justice and Understanding By IMF Loan Elimination
and Equity Act of 2004; introduced June 3, 2004; referred to the Subcommittee on
Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology, Committee on
Financial Services.
H.R. 4793 (Waters). Justice and Understanding By International Loan
Elimination and Equity Act of 2004; introduced July 9, 2004; referred to the
Committee on Financial Services.
Appropriations bills introduced in the 108th Congress that contain
Liberia-specific provisions include:
S. 1426 (McConnell). Foreign Operations Export Financing and Related
Programs Appropriations Act, 2004. FY2004 foreign operations appropriations were
authorized by H.R. 2673 (P.L. 108-199, see above), which contains some provisions
similar to those in S. 1426. S. 1426, as placed on the Senate Calendar on July 17,
2003, seeks to prohibit appropriation of Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for
Liberia and require special notification for any funds appropriated by the Act for
Liberia. H.R. 2673 included such measures. S. 1426 also would prohibit assistance
to governments abetting trade or commerce in diamonds mined in Liberia. Such a
provision was not contained in H.R. 2673, but it did limit the use of appropriated
funds by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the U.S. Export-Import
Bank to countries participating in the Kimberley Process regulatory regime on
conflict diamonds. Currently, Liberia would be affected by this provision.

H.R. 2800 (Kolbe). Foreign Operations Appropriations, FY2004 bill. House
and Senate conferees agreed to a conference report for H.R. 2800; their agreement
was incorporated into H.R. 2673 (see above).
H.R. 4818 (Kolbe). Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related
Programs Appropriations Act, 2005 ; introduced July 13, 2004; reported by the
House Committee on Appropriations as an original measure, H.Rept. 108-599, on
July 13, 2004; passed by the House on July 15, 2004; amended and passed by the
Senate, along with a request for a conference, on September 23, 2004, in lieu of S.
2812; message on Senate action sent to the House on September 23, 2004. During
Senate consideration of H.R. 4818, Senator Leahy offered S.Amdt. 3684, providing
not less than $25 million in ESF assistance for Liberia, which was agreed to
unanimous consent. In addition, the Senate version of H.R. 4818 would provide
Liberia with a portion of $5 million to address sexual and gender-based violence; and
not less than $30 million in Foreign Military Financing aid.
Issues for Congress
In P.L. 108-106, Congress authorized a relatively large appropriation for Liberia.
Oversight activities related to the expenditure of these funds may now become the
focal point for congressional engagement with Liberia. Leading issues that may
warrant such attention include peace consolidation, the trial of Charles Taylor for war
crimes, the operation of the U.N. Mission in Liberia, progress toward rebuilding
democratic and transparent governance, and U.S. assistance. Key issue in each of
these areas include:
Peace Consolidation and Reconstruction. Progress toward
implementation of the Liberian peace accord, particularly with regard to
!The disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, and resettlement
!Effective functioning of the Liberian transitional government,
notably to include the executive’s freedom to execute its legal
authorities and duties;
!Re-establishment of nation-wide governmental authority;
!Socio-economic rebuilding; and
!Security sector reform and training.
Trial of Charles Taylor. Ensuring the trial of Charles Taylor before the
Special Court for Sierra Leone, a stated goal of U.S. policy on Liberia.
UNMIL. Operational efficiency and effectiveness of UNMIL, possibly to
!The formulation and implementation of bench-marked goals for
progress in its areas of competence under its mandate;
!Assurance of adequate force size and capacities during military
maneuvers, to avoid the kind of military difficulties that beset U.N.
peacekeepers in Sierra Leone early in their mission there; and

!Operational and logistical cooperation with other U.N. missions in
the region, in order to avoid duplication of efforts, efficient use of
similar resources, and to achieve economies of scale where
possible. 71
Democracy and Governance. Progress toward democratization and the rule
of law, notably to include:
!The absence of the threat of force or violence to accomplish political
goals, as provided for under the peace accord;
!Protection and promotion of human rights and civic freedoms,
including of speech, movement, and assembly; and
!Implementation of institutional reforms to ensure fiscal and legal
transparency and accountability in government operations, and with
regard to the use of donor-provided assistance.
U.S. Assistance. Monitoring and evaluation of U.S. assistance, particularly
relating to
!The sequencing of emergency, transitional and development
assistance, and the relation of these to long-term institutional
reforms and socio-economic development goals;
!The assistance delivery model employed, e.g., direct use of U.S.
government staff and resources versus use of contractor or grantees
to accomplish U.S. programmatic goals in Liberia; and
!Comparative efficiency of outcomes resulting from the use of
different programing models, e.g., direct financing of small-scale
non-profit, non-governmental organization projects versus use of
larger for-profit contractors and consortia delivering diverse,
integrated packages of deliverables, as through the use of indefinite
quantity contracts.

71 These and other issues have been the subject of U.N. assessments. See Lessons Learned
Study on the Start-up Phase of the United Nations Mission in Liberia, Peacekeeping Best
Practices Unit, U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), April 2004.

Appendix 1: U.S. Assistance Trends
After increasing briefly following Liberia’s 1989-1997 war, U.S. assistance for
Liberia steadily declined, reflecting the Clinton and Bush Administrations’ generally
critical views of the Taylor Administration. In FY2002, aid began to be channeled
“only through non-governmental organizations” and was “focused narrowly on health
and food security needs in rural communities, along with a modest effort to assist72
civil society.” The decreasing level of assistance appeared to be a response to
“Liberia’s negative role in regional security” and fomenting of conflict in Sierra
Leone and Guinea “by supporting the [RUF] through illicit diamond and arms
trafficking.”73 Subsequent Bush Administration Congressional Budget justifications
for Liberia reflected similar concerns. The Administration’s regular FY2004 request
for Liberia, for instance, stated that “[t]he primary U.S. national interests in Liberia
are to prevent the Government of Liberia from fomenting violence and instability in
neighboring countries, and to promote comprehensive internal reform and good74
governance in Liberia.” While regular development assistance to Liberia gradually
declined, U.S. emergency assistance to Liberia began to increase as the country’s
second civil war burgeoned and humanitarian conditions deteriorated.
Table 3. U.S. Emergency and Humanitarian Assistance
to Liberia, FY2002-FY2004
($ Millions)
AgencyFY2002FY2003FY2004(to date)
USAID/OFDA a.265.8523.54
USAID/FFP b2.8316.721.53
STATE/PRM c3.1612.9527.89
To t a l 6.25 35.5 72.96
Source: USAID/OFDA, “Liberia Complex Emergency,Situation Report[s],
including #14, FY2004, Aug. 27, 2004 and #1, FY2004, Oct. 1, 2003; and Mano River
Countries (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone), report #1, Fiscal Year (FY) 2003, Oct. 9,
a. USAID/OFDA: USAID, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).
b. USAID/FFP: USAID, Food for Peace Program, P.L. 480 Title II Food Assistance.
c. State/PRM: State Department, Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration.

72 State Department, “Liberia,” FY2002 Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign
Operations, July 2, 2001.
73 Ibid.
74 State Department, “Liberia,” FY2004 Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign
Operations, Feb. 13, 2003.

Table 4. Recent U.S. Bilateral Development Assistance
to Liberia
($ Millions; totals may reflect rounding)
AccountsFY2001FY2002FY2003 FY2004FY2005
Actua l Actua l Actua l Estima te Request
CSD/CSH (a)1.8522.6272.41.997
DA (b)5.723.7253.758NA.545
ESF (c)NA1.154.42NA25
International Disaster &NANANA200*NA
Famine Assistance (f)
P.L. 480 (g)3.0625.643**17.684**10.538NA
Special Self-Help Fund .05.05NANANA
DHRF (h).07.075NANANA
T o tal 10.752 12.643 28.689 213.038 32.542
Sources: Annual U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Congressional Budget
Justifications; and State Department Congressional Budget Justifications for Foreign Operations;
USAID,USAID Assistance To Liberia,” Fact Sheet, Feb. 27, 2003; USAID Complex Emergency
Situation Reports for Liberia; and CRS estimates allocations.
Includes $.4 million for anti-polio Africa Regional account program. Actual CSH was $1.6 million.
* Some of these funds may fund multi-lateral programs for Liberia.
**FFP/P.L. 108-106 assistance may overlap with Emergency Assistance, above.
a. CSH: Child Survival and Health Programs Fund (formerly Child Survival and Disease Fund).
b. DA: Development Assistance
c. ESF: Economic Support Fund
d. NADR/SALW: Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining, & Related/Small and Light Weapons
e. INCLE: International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement
f. International Disaster and Famine Assistance; P.L. 108-106.
g. P.L. 480, Title II food assistance; primarily Food for Peace Program (FFP).
h. DHRF: Democracy and Human Rights Fund Program (DHRF)
Table 5. P.L. 108-106 Supplemental U.S. Assistance
for Liberia, FY2004
($ Millions)
International Disaster and Famine Assistance200
International Peacekeeping Assessments245

Appendix 2: Acronyms and Terms
Used in this Report
AFR:Africa Bureau, USAID
ARG: Amphibious Ready Group
Article 98 Agreement: Bilateral agreement ensuring immunity for U.S. nationals in third
countries from actions of the International Criminal Court (ICC)
Brooke Amendment: Popular name for provisions of the Foreign Assistance Act
(FAA) of 1961, as amended, and individual fiscal year
appropriations acts, prohibiting assistance to countries in loan
default to the United States
CBL:Central Bank of Liberia
CMC: Contracts and Monopolies Commission; created under the
Liberian peace agreement
CPA:Comprehensive Peace Agreement ending the war; signed on
August 18, 2003.
CPWG:Child Protection Working Group
CSH: Child Survival and Health Programs (formerly Child Survival
and Disease Programs)
DA: U.S. Development Assistance
DCHA: Bureau for Africa, and for Democracy, Conflict, and
Humanitarian Assistance, USAID
DDRR: Disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration
DHRF: Democracy and Human Rights Fund
ECOMIL: ECOWAS Mission in Liberia
ECOWAS: Economic Community of West African States
ESF: Economic Support Fund
FAST:Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team
FAA: Foreign Assistance Act
FFP: Office of Food for Peace, USAID
FMF:Foreign Military Financing
GRC: Governance Reform Commission; created under the Liberian
peace agreement
HAST: U.S. military Humanitarian Assessment and Security Team
HIC:Humanitarian Information Center
ICC: International Criminal Court
ICGL: International Contact Group on Liberia
ICJ: International Court of Justice
ICRC: International Committee of the Red Cross
IDA:International Disaster Assistance account; no longer used
IDFA:International Disaster and Famine Assistance
IDP: Internally displaced person
IMC: Implementation Monitoring Committee; created under the
Liberian peace agreement.
INCHR: Independent National Commission on Human Rights; created
under the Liberian peace agreement
INL or INCLE:International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement, State
Dep a rtme nt
ISF: International Stabilization Force
JMC: Joint Monitoring Committee; body created under the June cease-
fire accord
Joint Task Force Liberia: Ad hoc grouping of U.S. military elements formed to ensure the
security of the embassy in Monrovia and assist the deployment of
LRRRC: Liberia Refugee, Repatriation, and Resettlement Commission
LURD: Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy
MODEL: Movement for Democracy in Liberia

JVT: Joint Verification Team; monitoring body provided for by the
June cease-fire agreement
MNF: Multinational Force in Liberia
NCDDRR: National Commission for DDRR; created under the Liberian
peace agreement
NEC: National Electoral Commission; created under the Liberian peace
NGO: NGO non-governmental organization
NPP: National Patriotic Party
NTGL: National Transitional Government of Liberia; created under the
Liberian peace agreement
NTLA: National Transitional Legislative Assembly; created under the
Liberian peace agreement
OCHA: U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
OES:Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental Scientific
Affairs, State Department
OFDA: Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, USAID
OFR: Operation Focus Relief;robust” supplementary U.S. military
training for West African peacekeeping troops.
OTI: Office of Transition Initiatives, USAID
RI: Refugees International; a policy advocacy group
PRM: Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration, State
Dep a rtme nt
RSA:Regional Security Affairs, Africa Bureau, State Department
RUF: Sierra Leone Revolutionary United Front, a now-defunct rebel
gr o up
SACR:Security Assessment Committee for Resettlement
SCSL:Special Court for Sierra Leone, a hybrid U.N.-Sierra Leonean
body created to try those most responsible for war crimes and
human rights abuses during Sierra Leone’s civil war
TPS: Temporary Protected Status; temporary immigration protection
TRC : Truth and Reconciliation Commission; created under the
Liberian peace agreement
U.N.: United Nations
ULIMO: United Liberation Movement of Liberia; faction from Liberia’s
first civil war (1989-1997)
ULIMO-J: Krahn-dominated ULIMO breakaway faction
ULIMO-K: Mandingo-dominated ULIMO breakaway faction
UNAMSIL: U.N. Mission in Sierra Leone
UNHCR: U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees
UNICEF: U.N. Children’s Fund
UNMIL : U.N. Mission in Liberia
UNOL: U.N. Office in Liberia
UNSG:U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan
USAID: U.S. Agency for International Development
USFS:U.S. Forest Service/International Programs.
WFP: World Food Program