Term: August 2003 – October 2003
Moses Blah was born in Toweh Town, Nimba County on April 18, 1947 and was from the Gio tribe. His secondary schooling was at the Tapeta Public School and he furthered his education in Hamburg, Germany and Tajura, Libya. He joined Charles Taylor and trained in guerilla warfare based on their common interest against the Doe government. Blah travelled widely and was fluent in Arabic, German and French.
Fighting with Taylor throughout the war and even serving as a general, Blah held several high ranking positions as the rebels captured most of the country. When Taylor became president in 1997, Blah was appointed ambassador to Libya and Tunisia for three years. Upon the death of Taylor’s first vice president Enoch Dogolea in 2000, Blah was selected as Taylor’s Vice President.
Regardless of their long term relationship, there was some animosity between the two in 2003 when Taylor claimed Blah was involved in a plot to have him deposed. At his Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) hearing, Blah said that Taylor wanted him to resign as Vice President with a 1 million dollar payoff so that House Speaker Nyundueh Monokomna could assume the post. Their issues were later resolved and after being under house arrest for several days, Blah was reinstated as Vice President.
When Charles Taylor was forced to leave Liberia for Nigeria on August 11, 2003, Blah was handed power in the interim. He served in this position while the Accra Accord was being held to reach an agreement between the government and various parties for a roadmap of a transitional government that would assume power while the nation prepared for national elections. During this tenure, he travelled to neighboring countries in an attempt to heal the wounds of the war and ensure lasting peace in Liberia.
This former, fierce fighter was noted as a quiet and pleasant man. He was one without much political ambition and comfortably drove himself around Monrovia. All he claimed to desire was lasting peace. After all was said and done, he hoped to retire to his farm. Blah rallied for benefits of a former vice president after his term, but was unsuccessful in his quest. He died on April 1, 2013 at the JFK Medical Center in Monrovia after a period of illness.
Bryant to Head Liberia’s New Transitional Government. VOA News. 21 Aug. 2003. Web.
Liberia’s Interim President Visits Neighboring Countries. VOA News. 23 Aug. 2003. Web.
Liberia: Profile of interim Liberian President Moses Blah. IRIN. 19 Aug. 2003. Web.
Moses Blah takes control in Liberia as Taylor flies out. Irish Times. 11 Aug. 2003. Web.
Moses Blah, Former Liberia President is Dead: Taylor’s Veep Had Been Ill, Neglected. FPA Obituary. FrontPage Africa News. 01 Apr. 2013.
Paye-Layleh, Jonathan. “Profile: Moses Blah.” BBC News. N.p., 10 Aug. 2003. Web. 13 Mar. 2013.
Robinson, Emily. “A Profile of Moses Blah.” PBS. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2013.
President Taylor Ordered My Execution…Moses Blah Explains Ordeal. Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia. Press Release. Web.
Profile: Moses Blah of Liberia. Aljazeera. 11 Aug. 2003. Web.
Sirleaf, Ellen Johnson. Panegyric for the Late Moses Zeh Blah Former President of the Republic of Liberia. Executive Mansion. 02 May 2013. Web.
Last updated: November 16, 2019