Liberia’s civil war between 1989 and 2003 left hundreds of thousands dead, and many more affected by the extreme violence that ravaged the country. Peacebuilding and reconstruction have been daunting challenges for a country that was divided and impoverished even before the war. The conflict destroyed or damaged almost all structures and institutions of the state, the economy, and everyday life. Much progress has been made since President Sirleaf’s government assumed office in 2006, but enormous challenges remain. As the second presidential election since the end of the war nears, Liberia is once again at an important juncture on the path to its peaceful reconstruction.
The Human Rights Center conducted a population-based study in Liberia in November and December 2010 to gain a deeper understanding of the population’s priorities for peacebuilding, Liberians’ perceptions of their post-war security, and existing disputes and dispute resolution mechanisms. The study is based on extensive consultations with local organizations, interviews with key informants, and a nationwide survey of 4,501 respondents randomly selected in each of the counties to represent the views of the adult population in Liberia.