I was born in the Republic of Liberia on the West African Coast in 1975. My parents were linguists with a group of bible translators. I left the nation in 1986 and it made for an interesting childhood.
Liberia was 'historically' peaceful up until April, 1980. It was in that year that an illiterate Master Sergeant by the name of Samuel K. Doe took a couple of squads into the Executive mansion in Monrovia and shot the then sitting President, President Tolbert. Doe was part of the Khran tribe and certainly couldn't read and write. He took the President and some key cabinent members out on the beach and executed them. Taking control of the nation's air waves he declared himself to be President. He stated he would rule for five years and then hold elections. I imagine it would be hard for Americans to wake up one day and here that an illiterate Army Sergeant stormed the White House and declared himself to be in charge.
Africans have a radically different culture though then us in the West. Anyone that kills the Chief essentially would become the Chief. My father stated that Liberians were very shocked when Lee Harvey Oswald did not become President. The source of the angst in the native people that led them to support a coup lies in the history of the nation of Liberia. Liberians share a rich history with the United States. It was the American Colonialization society that did arrange for the Freed American slaves to return to Liberia. This is very much similar to the situation involving native Americans in our own nation. Liberia was already inhabited by approximately 13 other indegenous tribes. The Freed Slaves were however, vastly superior in education and technology. They were the original government of Liberia.