Conflict Summary

Since the conclusion of Liberia’s costly episodic civil war in 1996, dissidents were active in the north of the country. The rebels had various motivations for taking up arms against the increasingly authoritarian government, ranging from ethnic discrimination to the treatment of displaced persons. The various insurgent factions were united in February 2000 under the umbrella group, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD). LURD was largely based in neighbouring Sierra Leone or Guinea, and was attacked by a rival non-state force, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), which received the backing of the Liberian government. The Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL) split from the LURD in March 2003. Later that year, the Government of Liberia, LURD and MODEL signed a cease-fire, leading to the Accra Peace Agreement and the exile of National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) leader Charles Taylor to Nigeria. After historic democratic elections in 2005, Liberia has seen stability and significant reconstruction, but conflict in its wider neighbourhood looms as a potential source of insecurity.