By Staff Writer | The AfricaPaper
Philadelphia, PA – The historic transfer of power to a new government in Liberia last January, the first in 70 years, was hailed and celebrated as a milestone in the country’s turbulent political history. However, the woman credited with all this – former president Ellen Sirleaf- is notorious for the complex roles she played in shaping Liberia’s destiny over decades, actions which eventually culminated into a full-scale bloody civil war.
Affectionately known by her supporters as “Iron Lady,” Sirleaf has either sponsored or masterminded a series of failed plots in attempts to overthrow former Liberian dictator Samuel Karyon Doe from power, according to an investigation backed by substantial documentation. Sirleaf’s desperate quest to seize power began almost immediately after Doe, a native born Liberian, overthrew late president William R. Tolbert – ending an Americo-Liberian dynasty that ruled for more than 133 years and marginalized the native majority.
Ms. Sirleaf is reported to have backed every incursion into Liberia against Doe except the infamous “Nimba Raid” of 1983, apparently prompted by Doe’s misrule and led by disgruntled Nimba dissidents who targeted Doe’s officials who were members of the Krahn tribe. Reportedly, Sirleaf personally provided substantial financial support to each of the dissident groups that staged coups or invasions on the presidency – beginning with the November 12, 1985 coup by late Brigadier General Thomas Quiwonkpa and going through the December 24, 1989, invasion by Charles M. Taylor.