Update to LBR28402.E of 26 January 1998 on the situation in Monrovia, including daily life of civilians, restoration of law and order/security, protection available from the government or ECOMOG (July 2001) [LBR37370.E]

Current information on the situation prevailing in Moronvia could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

However, Human Rights Watch World Report 2001 stated that "following the violence in Monrovia in 1998, [ethnic] Krahn were targeted for extrajudicial executions, harassment, and politically motivated criminal charges."

Describing the situation prevailing in Liberia, Country Reports 2000 noted the following.

Law enforcement personnel, including the security forces, were implicated in numerous reports of harassment, intimidation, and looting. For example, in February SSS members carried out a series of armed robberies and shot and injured an LNP officer in the West Point area of Monrovia. In April armed soldiers clashed with marketers in Monrovia; they confiscated goods and harassed the marketers. There was a series of incidents involving harassment or looting and assault of foreign diplomats and local embassy employees. In February LNP officers pulled a foreign diplomat from his car in Monrovia and assaulted him. In March LNP officers demanded money from an embassy security guard and beat him with metal pipes. After various complaints in March from members of diplomatic corps, the Government called for investigations and punishment for offenders. Meetings with security agencies also were organized to brief them on diplomatic immunity; however, in June another local embassy employee was assaulted, searched for weapons, and robbed by AFL officers (2001, Sect. 1.c)

The report added that "all levels of the court system in Monrovia, including the Supreme Court, functioned sporadically." (ibid. 2000, Sect. 1.e).

In its 1 May 2001 report, Amnesty International (AI), after carrying out three weeks investigations in Moronvia and in Gbarnga Bongo County in February 2001, noted that

since 1997 virtually nothing has been done by the government to achieve reconciliation: no steps have been taken to investigate and bring to justice those responsible for widespread human rights abuses during the civil war or to establish institutions for protection and promotion of human rights; no training in international human rights standards has been provided to special security units such as the ATU and the Special Operation Division (SOD), which are the most and regularly implicated in torture and political killings, which act with impunity and appear to be politically backed including at the highest levels; Liberian journalists and human rights defenders who speak out and regularly expose human rights violations have frequently been arrested, threatened, tortured and ill-treated and forced to leave the country.

While during 1998, "the remnants of ECOMOG, the West African peacekeeping force deployed around greater Monrovia, interceded on several occasions to contain violence triggered in part by the government security forces (Country Reports 1998, 1999, Introduction), sources revealed that the ECOMOG mission in Liberia was terminated in 1999 (African Studies Quarterly Spring 2000; PANA 26 July 1999; UN 21 Oct. 1999).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


African Studies Quarterly. Spring 2000. Christopher Tuck. Vol. 4, Issue 1. ""Every Car or Moving Object Gone. The ECOMOG Intervention in Liberia".". http://web.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v4/v4i1a1.htm#tuck [Accessed 17 Jul. 2001]

Amnesty International (AI). 1 May 2001. Liberia: War in Lofa Country Does Not Justify Killing, Torture and Abdication (AI Index: AFR 34/003/2001). London: Amnesty International. http://web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/print/AFR340032001?OpenDocument [Accessed 16 Jul. 2001]

Country Reports of Human Rights Practices for 2000. 2001. Washington, DC: US Department of State. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2000/af/index.cfm?docid=845 [Accessed 17 July 2001]

Country Reports of Human Rights Practices for 1998. 1999. Washington, DC: US Department of State. http://www.state.gov/www/global/human_rights/1998_hrp_report/liberia.html [Accessed 17 Jul. 2001]

Human Rights Watch World Report 2001. 2001. Liberia: Human Rights Developments. http://www.hrw.org/wr2k1/africa/liberia.html [Accessed 16 July 2001]

Panafrican News Agency (PANA). 26 July 1999. "Liberia Destroys Surrendered Arms, Ammunition." http://www.nisat.org/west%20africaliberia_destroys_surrendered_arm.htm [Accessed 17 Jul. 2001]

United Nations. 21 October 1999. "Liberia - ECOMOG Officers Leave Liberia." http://www.geocities.com/Athens/4795/UN.htm [Accessed 17 Jul. 2001]

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential 1999-2001.

Africa Research Bulletin 1999-2001.

Country Reports 2000. 2001. Electronic Version.

Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent 2001.

IRB databases.

Keesing's Record of World Events. 1999-2001.


West Africa 1999-2001.

World News Connection (WNC).

Resource Centre country file. Liberia. 2000-2001.

Internet Sites, including:

Amnesty International Online.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) Online.


International Crisis Group (ICG).


Panafrican News Agency (PANA).

Search Engines, including: