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Liberia is a country on the west coast of Africa, bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire.

The country has recently been afflicted by two civil wars (1989 - 1996 and 1999 - 2003) that have displaced hundreds of thousands of its citizens and destroyed the Liberian economy.

Republic of Liberia
Flag of Liberia Image:Lib-coa.png
(In Detail)
National motto: The love of liberty brought us here
Official language English
Capital Monrovia
President Gyude Bryant
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 101st
111,370 km²

 - Total

 - Density
Ranked 129th

3,317,176 (2003)

Independence July 26, 1847
Currency Liberian dollar
Time zone UTC
National anthem All Hail, Liberia, Hail!
Internet TLD .lr
Calling Code 231


Main article: History of Liberia

Liberia was settled by freed American slaves in the early 1800s, naming their country for liberty itself. Liberia declared its independence and became a republic on July 26, 1847, a day now celebrated as independence day.

These freed slaves were called Americo-Liberians, and became an elite group living on the coast of the country. Under their rule the country made much economic progress.


Main article: Politics of Liberia

The Americo-Liberians, though, had little in common with the tribal communities living inland. One of these tribes were the Krahn, to which Samuel Doe belonged. In 1980 Doe staged a coup, and executed the President of nine-years William R. Tolbert, Jr. in his mansion.

Despite his military regime, Doe made strong ties with the United States in the early 1980s, receiving a lot of money for pushing out the Soviet Union from the country, and allowing exclusive rights for the US to use Liberia's ports and land.

Doe continued his authoritarian policies, banning newspapers, outlawing opposition parties and holding staged elections.

In late 1989, a civil war began, and in September of 1990, Doe was ousted and killed by the forces of faction leader Yormie Johnson and members of the Gio tribe. The war ended in 1996, but a new rebellion broke out in 1999. The conflict intensified in mid-2003, when the fighting moved closer to Monrovia. As a result, President Charles Taylor accepted an asylum offer by Nigeria, but vowed: "God willing, I will be back."

The country is currently governed by a transitional government in preparation for elections that are due in 2005.

See also: List of Presidents of Liberia

Map of Liberia


Liberia is divided into 13 counties:


Main article: Geography of Liberia

Liberia is situated in Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean. The landscape is characterised by mostly flat to rolling coastal plains, which rise to rolling plateau and low mountains in the northeast. The climate is tropical: hot and humid. Winters are dry with hot days and cool to cold nights. Summers are wet and cloudy with frequent heavy showers.

See: liberia


Main article: Economy of Liberia

The Liberian economy depended heavily on the export of iron ore. Prior to 1990, Liberia also exported rubber. The long civil war has destroyed much of the country's infrastructure and Liberia is dependent on foreign aid . The country currently has an approximate 85% unemployment rate.


Main article: Demographics of Liberia

The population of over 3 million comprises 16 indigenous ethnic groups and various foreign minorities. The Kpelle in central and western Liberia is the largest ethnic group. The Liberian constitution restricts citizenship only to people of Negro descent; therefore only having a European population of 18 thousand people. Political upheavals and civil war have brought about a steep decline in living standards.


Main article: Culture of Liberia

Liberia was traditionally noted for its hospitality and academic institutions, cultural skills and arts and craft works.

Miscellaneous topics

External links

  • Investigative Report: Liberian Situation and Star Radio: Bureaucratization of Clandestine Radio
  • World Press Review: War in Liberia Threatens to Destabilize Region
  • Liberia News
  • Over 300 categorized and profiled websites about Liberia on Zeal
  • Sea Breeze: An online journal of literary works by contemporary Liberian writers
  • Liberia: Global Connections on PBS

Countries in Africa

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Other areas: Canary Islands | Mayotte | Réunion | Saint Helena | Western Sahara

Last updated: 02-06-2005 14:01:35
Last updated: 02-19-2005 10:35:12