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1248111.  Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:46 pm Reply with quote

I was surprised to see no thread on this country so I thought I would start one with one little fact.

When Master-Sergeant Samuel Kanyon Doe seized power in April 1980 he was not only the youngest (at 28) soldier in Africa to do so but also the lowest-ranking.

In fact he may have been the lowest-ranking soldier to seize political power anywhere in the world. He was merely a sergeant whereas everyone else was either a junior or senior officer.

If I'm wrong then let me know.

1248172.  Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:42 pm Reply with quote

Soldiers who stage coups are usually colonels, aren't they? High enough to have enough military knowledge actually to effect a coup, but low enough that they're not in the pocket of the existing regime. A private soldier - or indeed a sergeant - would usually fall down on the first of those, and a general on the second.

Unsurprisingly, the system of ranks in the Liberian Army is based on the US Army's system, and Samuel Doe held the rank of Master Sergeant when he staged his coup in 1980. Under the NATO system for comparison of ranks, that is rank OR-8 (where OR-1 is the lowest possible).

But now consider Suriname. The Surinamese coup of 1980 was led by a fellow named Desi Bouterse. He is currently the President of Suriname having won an election, but he is also a rather unsavoury figure who has been found guilty in absentia of importing large amounts of cocaine into the Netherlands. As a result of this, he will be arrested if he ever attempts to enter the EU. (Because the trafficking conviction dates from before he was President, he does not enjoy diplomatic immunity.)

At the time of his coup, Mnr Bouterse held the rank of Wachtmeester in the Surinamese Army. At this point I am making an assumption which may be unwarranted but which seems reasonable, that the Surinamese system of ranks is based on the Dutch system. If it is, then his rank was OR-5 under the NATO system, and hence lower than Mr Doe's.

Also worth a mention in passing is Kenya. An attempted coup there in 1982 was led by one Hezekiah Ochuka, who held the rank of Senior Private (OR-2). Mr Ochuka did manage to force entry into the state radio station Voice of Kenya late one night and announce that he had overthrown the government, and over the airwaves he instructed the Kenyan Air Force to bomb the State House, the official residence of the President. President arap Moi was at the time at the State House; so far as is known, he was in bed.

The Air Force did not comply with this order, and by dawn the coup had been put down. Mr Ochuka initially escaped to Tanzania, but was later brought back to Kenya and hanged.

1248175.  Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:11 pm Reply with quote

duggie, you can edit your distortingly long link by typing


in right front of it, and


right behind it - that will bring the lot back to a normal format.

1248178.  Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:24 pm Reply with quote

Alternatively, if you're like me and it takes you forever to straighten out BB Code, you can go here to shorten it:

Others are available, this is just the one I'm most familiar with.



L on earth
1248222.  Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:40 am Reply with quote

Charles King, the ex-president of Liberia, had the Guinness World Record for most fraudulent election. He got 234,000 votes in the 1927 election, out of an available pool of 15,000 registered voters.
1248418.  Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:41 am Reply with quote

The place is one of just two African countries with a female leader, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, elected in 2006 and known as Africa's 'Iron Lady'

1248432.  Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:23 am Reply with quote

The other female head of state in Africa is President Gurib of Mauritius. Just like Angela Merkel and Margaret Thatcher she has a degree in Chemistry; unlike those two, her political position is left of centre. (The President of Mauritius is appointed by Parliament, not elected, and Dr Gurib was nominated for President by the Militant Socialist Movement.)
1249524.  Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:33 am Reply with quote

Liberia and the United States of America are the only countries in the world that retain grand juries. They were once a near worldwide phenomenon but were abolished as early as 1799 in France and as late as 2009 in the Australian state of Victoria.



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