Former President Jimmy Carter says the State Department asked him earlier this year not to play peacemaker in the bloody Liberian civil war and he obeyed.

Carter said President Samuel Doe appealed to him last summer to come to Liberia to negotiate a peaceful solution to the civil war. Doe, a 40-year-old master sergeant, had seized power in a bloody 1980 coup."I called the State Department and told them that I had this invitation, that I thought horrendous bloodshed was going to take place in Liberia," the former president said in a recent interview conducted for Alabama Public Television. "After a day or two, they called back and asked me not to go, so I didn't."

Two months later, Doe was slain by a break-away rebel force.