Interviews 

April 12, 1980–40 years later: Surviving the Coup that Transformed Liberia

Liberia erupted in violence on April 12, 1980 as Master Sergeant Samuel Kanyon Doe seized power from President William Tolbert, ending 133 years of political dominance by Americo-Liberians. Americo-Liberians traced their ancestry to African Americans and Black British subjects who immigrated to Africa and became the founders of the Republic of Liberia, in power from 1847-1980. In October 1985, having promised to return Liberia to civilian rule, Doe was declared the winner of Liberia’s first multi-party elections. The results were largely rejected by the international community after his own staff took the ballots…

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