Amos Sawyer

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Dr. Amos Claudius Sawyer (born June 15, 1945) was the President of the Interim Government of National Unity in Liberia (November 22, 1990–March 7, 1994). Sawyer was born to Abel Sawyer and Sarah Sawyer in 1945, of Americo-Liberian ethnicity; his siblings include Joe Sawyer; the Sawyers were a prominent family in Sinoe County.[citation needed] Before the 1980 coup d'état, he was active politically, running for the position of Mayor of Monrovia as an independent rather than within the True Whig Party.[1] After the coup, he returned to academia for a time, taking a position as a professor of political science at the University of Liberia, and in December 1980 he was appointed Dean of the College of Social Sciences and acting director of the University.[2] He was a founding member of the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA) and in 1983 founded the Liberian People's Party. In the period after the abduction (and eventual murder) of president Samuel Doe, from 9 September 1990 until 22 November 1990, principal mutineer Prince Johnson, and coconspirator Charles Taylor both made claims on the presidency. In late August in an emergency conference in The Gambia, Sawyer was voted interim president and Bishop Roland Diggs was voted vice-president by a delegation of 35 Liberians representing seven political parties and eleven interest groups gathered for that purpose. His one-year appointment was extended for four years during the civil war fought against rebels led largely by Taylor Johnson, and David Nimley. In 1994, he was forced to step down as a part of the peace process, and subsequently the role of official leader of Liberia was held not by the president, but by the Chairmen of the Council of State. Fighting sparked again in 1996, and continued during Taylor's presidency from 1997 to 2003.

A 1966 graduate of Liberia College (now the University of Liberia), he earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Northwestern University in metropolitan Chicago, Illinois, United States.[1] He lately served as Associate Director and Research Scholar, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis in the Department of Political Science at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, United States, and is currently Chairman of the Governance Reform Commission in Liberia, which has recently become the Governance Commission. His book, Beyond Plunder: Toward Democratic Governance in Liberia, was published in the spring of 2005. He supported Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the October 2005 and 2011 elections. He was awarded the Gusi Peace Prize in 2011.

Preceded by
Samuel Doe
President of the Interim Government of National Unity
Succeeded by
David D. Kpormakor


  1. ^ a b "Sawyer Appointed Acting Dean". The Sunday People 1979-12-02: 1.
  2. ^ "Dr. Amos Sawyer Get [sic] Top Academic Post". New Liberian 1980-12-05: 8.

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