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Liberia

Population: 4 092 310

GDP: 1 977 000 000.00 $

Description

 

Settlement of freed slaves from the US in what is today Liberia began in 1822; by 1847, the Americo-Liberians were able to establish a republic. William Tubman, president from 1944-71, did much to promote foreign investment and to bridge the economic, social, and political gaps between the descendants of the original settlers and the inhabitants of the interior. In 1980, a military coup led by Samuel DOE ushered in a decade of authoritarian rule. In December 1989, Charles Taylor launched a rebellion against DOE's regime that led to a prolonged civil war in which DOE was killed. A period of relative peace in 1997 allowed for elections that brought Taylor to power, but major fighting resumed in 2000.

 

 

An August 2003 peace agreement ended the war and prompted the resignation of former president Charles Taylor, who faces war crimes charges in The Hague related to his involvement in Sierra Leone's civil war. After two years of rule by a transitional government, democratic elections in late 2005 brought President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to power. She subsequently won reelection in 2011 in a second round vote that was boycotted by the opposition and remains challenged to build Liberia's economy and reconcile a nation still recovering from 14 years of fighting. The United Nations Security Council in September 2012 passed Resolution 2066 which calls for a reduction of UN troops in Liberia by half by 2015, bringing the troop total down to fewer than 4000, and challenging Liberia's security sector to fill the gaps.

Population

 

Population: 4,092,310 (2014)

 

Nationality: noun: Liberian(s) adjective: Liberian

 

Ethnic groups: Kpelle 20.3%, Bassa 13.4%, Grebo 10%, Gio 8%, Mano 7.9%, Kru 6%, Lorma 5.1%, Kissi 4.8%, Gola 4.4%, other 20.1%

 

Languages: English 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages few of which can be written or used in correspondence

 

Religions: Christian 85.6%, Muslim 12.2%, Traditional 0.6%, other 0.2%, none 1.4% 

GDP

 

GDP: $ 1 977 000 000.00 (2013)

Military Organization

 

Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL): Army, Navy, Air Force.

Conflicts and Disputes

Although civil unrest continues to abate with the assistance of 6,500 UN Mission in Liberia peacekeepers, as of January 2013, Liberian refugees still remain in Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Ghana; Liberia, in turn, shelters refugees fleeing turmoil in Cote d'Ivoire; despite the presence of over 9,000 UN forces in Cote d'Ivoire since 2004, ethnic conflict continues to spread into neighboring states who can no longer send their migrant workers to Ivorian cocoa plantations; UN sanctions ban Liberia from exporting diamonds and timber.

 

Internally displaced persons: up to 23,000 (civil war from 1990-2004; post-election violence in March and April 2011; unclear how many have found durable solutions; many dwell in slums in Monrovia).

 

Liberia is transshipment point for Southeast and Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine for the European and US markets; corruption, criminal activity, arms-dealing, and diamond trade provide significant potential for money laundering, but the lack of well-developed financial system limits the country's utility as a major money-laundering center.

 

Geographical Information and Map

 

Capital: Monrovia

 

Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone. Liberia is facing the Atlantic Ocean, the coastline is characterized by lagoons, mangrove swamps, and river-deposited sandbars; the inland grassy plateau supports limited agriculture.

 

 

Geographic coordinates:

6 30 N, 9 30 W

 

Area:

total: 111,369 sq km

land: 96,320 sq km

water: 15,049 sq km

 

Land boundaries:

total: 1,585 km

border countries: Guinea 563 km, Cote d'Ivoire 716 km, Sierra Leone 306 km.

 

Coastline: 579 km.

 

Natural resources: iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, hydropower.