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|“||Do not permit these rebels, these dissident forces to intimidate you or influence you, I also call upon those rebel soldiers and their supporters to lay down their arms immediately because we are in complete control of the situation. In order to continue to consolidate the situation and mop up the remaining scattered rebels, a dusk-to-dawn curfew is hereby imposed. If you are seen on the streets you will be considered a rebel and executed immediately.||„|
|~ Samuel Doe|
Samuel Kanyon Doe (May 6, 1951 – September 9, 1990) was a Liberian dictator who served as president of Liberia from his overthrow of William Tolbert in 1980 until his brutal murder at the hands of Prince Johnson in 1990.
Initially serving as the head of a military junta (known as the People's Redemption Council), proper elections were held in 1985 allowing Doe to assume the mantle of President of Liberia proper. Civil war broke out in 1989 between the Doe government and various rebel factions, and Doe was captured, tortured during interrogation and executed in an nationally televised display in September 1990.
On May 6, 1951, Doe was born in Tuzon, a small inland village in Grand Gedeh County. His family belonged to the Krahn people, a minority indigenous group important in this area. At the age of sixteen, Doe finished elementary school and enrolled at a Baptist junior high school in Zwedru.
Two years later, he enlisted in the Armed Forces of Liberia, hoping thereby to obtain a scholarship to a high school in Kakata, but instead, he was assigned to military duties. Over the next ten years, he was assigned to a range of duty stations, including education at a military school and commanding an assortment of garrisons and prisons in Monrovia. He finally completed high school by correspondence. Doe was promoted to the grade of Master sergeant on 11 October 1979 and made an administrator for the Third Battalion in Monrovia, which position he occupied for eleven months.
Bloody coup d'etat
While Master Sergeant of the army, Doe staged a violent coup d'etat in April 1980 that left him de facto head of state. During the coup, then-president William R. Tolbert, Jr. and much of the True Whig Party leadership were executed the convicted were denied the right to a lawyer or to any appeal. Doe then established the People's Redemption Council, assuming the role of chairman.The PRC, assuming the role of a military junta, would govern the country for five years.
Doe attempted to legitimize his regime with the passage of a new constitution in 1984 and elections in 1985. However, opposition to his rule increased, especially after the 1985 elections, which were declared to be fraudulent by most foreign observers.
The coup plotter and presidential candidate threatened that if he lost, he would not hand over power to anyone and that in the next few weeks he would overthrow the constitution, skeptically, Samuel Doe was in charge of removing several opponents from the road and his cabinet would count vote by vote to boycott In the elections, he finally came out the winner with 51% of the votes, something very shameless. Several observers declared that the legitimate winner was Jackson Doe, not related to the Dictator. For political reasons, the US continued to support him,
In November 1985 as a result of dissatisfaction with the electoral result, Thomas Quiwonkpa, Doe's former second-in-command led a coup attempt which was crushed by the military, with 16 casualties in the riot, with an estimated 500 to 600 number people, failed in an attempt to seize power; all were executed,after the failed coup against him, Doe said that Quiwonkpa was not man enough to enter his mansion to later post a notice to all citizens not to leave their homes after 6:00 p.m., and if someone was seen by their government in the streets, they would be considered an insurgent and immediately executed. Doe was sworn in as president on January 6, 1986. On the day of his inauguration as twenty-first president, in the stadium a show with several Liberian girls danced artistically in his honor with various hoops, later the dancers danced with maracas, finally the army paraded in line and in the first row they played thick trumpets. Doe publicly declared that if he lost the elections, he would not hand over power and the army would carry out another coup in less than two weeks, a position that was harshly criticized by the international community and the political parties participating in the elections.
Doe then initiated crackdowns against certain tribes, such as the Gio and Mano, in the north, where most of the coup plotters came from. This government's mistreatment of certain ethnic groups resulted in divisions and violence among indigenous peoples, who until then had coexisted relatively peacefully. In the late 1980s, as fiscal austerity took hold in the United States and the perceived threat of Communism declined with the waning of the Cold War, the U.S. became disenchanted with Doe's government and began cutting off critical foreign aid to Liberia. This, together with the popular opposition, made Doe's position precarious. Doe's slaughter of an estimated 3,000 people provoked ethnic rivalries that later fuelled the First Liberian Civil War.
Doe had support from the United States; it was a strategic alliance due to his anti-Soviet stance taken during the years of the Cold War prior to the changes in 1989 that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Charles Taylor, a former ally of Doe (who would be much worse than Doe), entered Liberia on December 24, 1989 to assassinate the dictator and monopolize power. Taylor had escaped from a US prison in which he entered after Doe accused him of embezzlement. By mid-1990, most of Liberia was controlled by rebel factions and the country had become engulfed in a bloody civil war.
Doe, in an apparent movement of last resort, repeated his offer on state radio to form a government of national unity, which would include the rebel front and all political parties. Taylor has already rejected the proposal. Rebels were reported a few hundred meters from the main state radio transmitter, which still broadcast music interspersed with repeated transmissions of the government's offer.
There was also a great massacre, also known as The massacre of the Lutheran Church of San Pedro, it was the worst atrocity of the First Civil War in Liberia. Approximately 600 civilians were killed in the church in the Sinkor section of Monrovia on July 29, 1990. The massacre was carried out by approximately 30 government soldiers loyal to President Doe. The perpetrators were from the Krahn tribe, while the majority of the victims were from the Gio and Mano tribes, who supported the rebels. Doe was captured in Monrovia by Taylor's ally Prince Johnson on September 9, 1990. He was brutally tortured and mutilated while Johnson interrogated him before he died by being tortured after twelve hours. The torture was recorded on video and was shown on newscasts around the world; videos of the torture session have even surfaced on YouTube. The video shows his interrogator Prince Johnson drinking a Budweiser beer while cutting Doe's ears. Doe's naked body was then dragged through the streets of Monrovia.
his body disappeared at the end of September of that same year
In November 2000 the dictator's favorite son Samuel Kanyon Doe.Jr and his widow,Nancy Bohn Doe decided to reconcile with his father's murderer at a religious rally.
Ironically, Samuel Doe died at the hands of a coup Liberian, like his predecessor who had also succumbed to a person who took power by force. Doe's repressive and censorial military dictatorship and his transformation from a shy, thin and soft-spoken sergeant major into a large, well-fed and well-dressed commander in chief earned him a place alongside other notorious African heads of state such as Idi Amin Dada (Uganda), Jean-Bédel Bokassa (Central African Republic), Francisco Macías Nguema (Equatorial Guinea) and Muammar Gaddafi (Lybia).
- He shares the same fate as Muammar Gaddafi since they were both Africans and led a coup and died before being tortured on camera.
- Unlike Tolbert and his cabinet, Doe had no burial site due to the disappearance of the corpse since september 1990.