Liberia Debates Race-Based Citizenship

MONROVIA, Liberia — A clause in Liberia’s constitution requiring black ancestry in order to hold citizenship has spurred debate on the nature of foreign ownership of land here, and in Africa in general. Many Liberians insist that the clause must be changed, decrying their country for being the only “legally racist” nation in the world. Others claim the clause protects Liberians from foreigners who might otherwise take control of the country’s vast natural resources and pristine land. Article 27(b) of Liberia’s constitution dates back to 1847, when freed American slaves declared the country an independent republic. Fearing their white former […]

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