January 1991 -- After years of instability under Samuel Doe's military regime, rebel leader Charles Taylor and his party, the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agree to form an interim government.
September 1993 -- The interim government repeals a Doe regime-era decree that criminalized, on national security grounds, any criticism of the government. However, the Information Ministry still has considerable discretion under the Doe-era media law in licensing and regulating journalists.
July 1997 -- In presidential and legislative elections Charles Taylor wins by a landslide, and his National Patriotic Party wins a majority of seats in the National Assembly.
March 1999 -- The government slams a U.S. State
Department report on human rights practices in
November 1999 -- The Finance Ministry conducts an investigation into the disappearance of 9.8 million Liberian dollars (US$200,000) in local funds intended to pay teachers.
December 1999 -- The Justice Ministry sets up a Human
Rights Coordinating Office to work with local and international human rights
August 2000 -- Four journalists on assignment for British and American television are arrested and charged with espionage while working on a documentary about diamond smuggling and drug-running. One week later, after substantial international pressure, all four journalists are released after they publicly apologize to President Taylor, who claimed they were arrested because a script found in their possession contained lies and slander about Liberia.
May 2002 -- The government bans a call-in radio
talk show in which citizens are allowed to discuss President Taylor and his
government. The show is believed to have influenced the U.N.'s decision to
maintain sanctions against
June 2003 -- A U.N.-backed court in
August 2003 -- President Taylor hands over power to
Vice President Moses Blah and flees to
December 2003 --
February 2004 -- A parliamentary report triggers investigations into exorbitant travel expenses claimed by members of the transition government.
February 2004 -- International donors pledge 25 billion Liberian dollars (US$500 million) to help reconstruct the country.
March 2004 -- The U.N. Security Council adopts Resolution 1532, freezing the financial assets and economic resources that were misappropriated by Charles Taylor, his family members and close associates.
December 2004 -- With elections planned for the following year, the transition government adopts an electoral reform law to ensure equity and fairness in voter registration, which begins in April 2005. New political party and independent candidate registration guidelines come into force in January 2005.
August 2005 -- J.D. Slanger, former head of the Bureau of Maritime Affairs, is charged with embezzling 171 million Liberian dollars (US$3.5 million).
November 2005 -- The transition government passes a law allowing legislators to keep government vehicles for their private use when they leave office. Legislators leaving office the following month reportedly strip the capitol building of computers, furniture and carpeting.
November 2005 -- Former Finance Minister Ellen
Johnson-Sirleaf is elected president, becoming
January 2006 -- The transition government denies U.N. accusations that 1.5 billion Liberian dollars (US$30 million) in mineral sales and tax revenues had gone missing during its administration. The new Parliament approves a motion calling for an audit of the transition government, during which top officials will be barred from leaving the country.
June 2006 -- Dutch timber merchant Guus van Kouwenhoven is sentenced to eight years in prison by a Dutch court for exchanging weapons with former President Taylor for logging concessions, in violation of the U.N. arms embargo.
July 2006 -- The U.N. releases a report on corruption in the judiciary with regard to rape cases. The report alleges court and police officials demand bribes to arrest and prosecute rape suspects, and accused child rapists are allowed to pay their way out of jail. A law passed in December 2005 made rape illegal for the first time in the country's history.
Feb. 28, 2007 --
July 3, 2007 -- Former President Charles Taylor appears
at his war crimes trial in