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By D. Elwood Dunn

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Extra resources for Liberia

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Page xix Throughout West Africa ethnic groups often range beyond national boundaries and many of these sixteen groups are not restricted solely to Liberia. Only the Bassa, Dei and Belle are not found outside the country. Other ethnic groups include the Bandi, Gio or Dan, Gola, Grebo, Kissi, Kpelle (the largest of the groups), Krahn, Kru (a sea-faring people), Loma, Mandingo, Mano, Mende and Vai, a group who invented the Vai script, a language with over a hundred characters. Although English is the official language of the country, within Liberia some twenty-eight native languages and dialects are spoken which are divided into: West Atlantic or Mel (Gola and Kissi); Kruan (Kru, Grebo, Krahn, Bassa, Dei and Belle); and Mande (Ma, Dan, Kpelle, Loma, Bandi, Mende, Vai and Mandingo).

Page xix Throughout West Africa ethnic groups often range beyond national boundaries and many of these sixteen groups are not restricted solely to Liberia. Only the Bassa, Dei and Belle are not found outside the country. Other ethnic groups include the Bandi, Gio or Dan, Gola, Grebo, Kissi, Kpelle (the largest of the groups), Krahn, Kru (a sea-faring people), Loma, Mandingo, Mano, Mende and Vai, a group who invented the Vai script, a language with over a hundred characters. Although English is the official language of the country, within Liberia some twenty-eight native languages and dialects are spoken which are divided into: West Atlantic or Mel (Gola and Kissi); Kruan (Kru, Grebo, Krahn, Bassa, Dei and Belle); and Mande (Ma, Dan, Kpelle, Loma, Bandi, Mende, Vai and Mandingo).

These violations had come to the attention of the USA who had earlier offered economic aid in return for the release of political Page xxvi prisoners. Once again aid was refused pending fundamental changes in the system. Spurred on by outside support, the LAP (Liberian Action Party), the UPP and the UP (United Party) formulated what was to be a last-ditch attempt to assert their democratic prerogative with a proposition demanding changes in the Doe government and asserting the rights of freedom of speech and of political expression.

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