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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A bumpy ride: the Liberian military regime's acceptance in Africa
Author:Gershoni, YekutielISNI
Periodical:Liberian Studies Journal (ISSN 0024-1989)
Geographic term:Liberia
Subjects:State recognition
foreign policy
military regimes
coups d'état
Abstract:The People's Redemption Council (PRC), led by Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe, came to power in Liberia in a bloody coup on 12 April 1980, putting an end to 133 years of pro-Western Americo-Liberian minority rule. While African and regional organizations usually duly accepted new regimes, the PRC suffered uncharacteristic snubs and delays. This paper shows how the interests and anxieties of all involved militated against the African States withholding or withdrawing recognition from the PRC government, while at the same time leading the PRC government to adapt itself to the concerns and demands of the States that its behaviour had antagonized. The six-month-long process, which ended with a compromise, was a bumpy one, marked on both sides by the alternation of moves towards and retreats from accommodation. It can be described in three stages. The first two, featuring respectively the OAU and ECOWAS rebuffs, were characterized largely by the PRC's failed efforts at conciliation. The third phase was characterized by tough negotiations, encouraged by the United States, which continued despite setbacks because of the dogged determination of both sides to find a 'modus vivendi'. The apprehensions in Washington and the West African States that the post-coup government would export revolution and destabilize the region did not materialize. The new regime remained oriented towards the West and soon adopted a foreign policy very similar to that of the government it had toppled. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]