Samuel Kanyon Doe

Samuel Kanyon Doe

President of Liberia from 1980 to 1990
Date of Birth: 06.05.1951
Country: Liberia

  1. Biography of Samuel Kanyon Doe
  2. Seizing Power
  3. Dictatorial Rule
  4. Civil War and Death

Biography of Samuel Kanyon Doe

Samuel Kanyon Doe was the President of Liberia from 1980 to 1990. He was born into the Krahn tribe of the Kru ethnic group, and his father served in the Liberian army. Doe joined the armed forces of Liberia at the age of 17 and rose to the rank of senior sergeant.

Seizing Power

On April 12, 1980, Samuel Doe led a military coup that resulted in the death of President William Tolbert. Following the coup, many members of Tolbert's government were killed or executed. Doe became the head of state and the chairman of the People's Redemption Council.

Dictatorial Rule

Initially, Doe's regime enjoyed relative support, but he gradually established an ethnic dictatorship of the Krahn tribe. However, calls for a transition to civilian rule grew louder, and in 1986, Doe was elected as the President of the Republic with numerous violations. To meet the constitutional requirement that the President should be a citizen above the age of 35, Samuel Doe falsified his age. With his ascension, the oldest party in Liberia, the True Whig Party, ceased to exist. In foreign policy, Doe fully aligned with the United States and severed diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union in 1986.

Civil War and Death

In 1989, the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) led by Charles Taylor, a previously unknown group, emerged. The first Liberian civil war began, and the NPFL quickly gained control of 90% of Liberia's territory. However, a faction led by Prince Y. Johnson broke away from the NPFL and fought against both Samuel Doe and Charles Taylor. In September 1990, Johnson's forces surrounded Monrovia. Under the pretext of negotiations, Johnson lured Doe to a UN mission, where he was kidnapped and brutally killed. His captors castrated him, cut off his own ear, and forced him to eat it. Following Doe's murder, Charles Taylor's dictatorship took hold in the country, plunging it into a civil war that claimed the lives of 150,000 people.