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Moses Zeh Blah (18 April 1947 – 1 April 2013) was a Liberian politician. He served as Vice President of Liberia under President Charles Taylor and became the 23rd President of Liberia on August 11, 2003, following Taylor’s resignation. He served as President for two months, until October 14, 2003, when a United Nations-backed transitional government, headed by Gyude Bryant, was sworn in.

Blah was born in Toweh Town, Liberia, a Gio-speaking hamlet in north-eastern Nimba County, close to the border with the Ivory Coast. He joined with Taylor because of a shared hatred of President Samuel Doe, who had killed Blah’s wife along with hundreds of others in an ethnic-related massacre. He trained with Taylor in a Libyan guerrilla camp and served with him as a general during Liberia’s civil war in the 1990s. He held the post of ambassador to Libya and Tunisia after Taylor was elected in 1997. In July 2000 Blah was appointed as Vice President after the death of Enoch Dogolea who was rumoured to have been poisoned.

Blah was known as a quiet and unassuming man, driving his own jeep around town rather than using a motorcade and driver, and wearing flowing African robes instead of the normal olive green military uniform. He was constantly annoyed by the presence of bodyguards following him around. (Source: Wikipedia)

Interesting Biographical Snippets
  • Blah was urged by the United States to take power from Taylor in June 2003 while Taylor was out of the country for peace talks in Ghana, but Blah made no such attempt.
  • Blah was sent a subpoena to testify at Taylor’s trial before the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague. He said that he would “speak the truth” and testified on May 14, 2008, describing child soldiers and the relationship between Taylor and Foday Sankoh.
  • Originally trained as a mechanic, Blah was fluent in German, French and Arabic.
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