ABOUT LIBERIA

Area                     :  111,369 sq km, a little larger than Tennessee
Population           :  4,092,310 (July 2014 est.)
Median age         : 17.9 years
Capital                 : Monrovia (named for U.S. President James Monroe)
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% (2008 Census)
Religion               : Christian 85.6%, Muslim 12.2%, Traditional 0.6%, other 1.6% (2008 Census)
GDP                     : $2.898 billion (2013 est.)
GDP per capita   : $700 (2013 est.)

 

 

Other Facts

Independence Day is July 26.
English is the official language.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is known as Africa’s “Iron Lady.”
A U.N. report on Liberia’s 14-year civil war (1989-2003) claims that more than 250,000 people died in the conflict and more than 1.3 million were displaced from their homes.

 

Timeline

 


1816-1817              : The American Colonization Society buys land in Liberia for the resettlement of freed slaves.
1822                        : The first freed American slaves arrive in Liberia.
1847                        : The American Colonization Society gives up control and Liberia gains its independence. Joseph Jenkins                                                                        Roberts, a freed slave from Virginia, becomes the first president. For 133 years, Liberia is ruled by the True Whig Party,                                                whose government and constitution are modeled after the United States.

1980                        : Samuel Doe of the Krahn ethnic group takes power in a coup, overthrowing William Tolbert.
1989                        : Charles Taylor leads a revolt that leads to Doe’s execution and civil war among several factions. The country stays                                                       in astate of civil war until 2003.
1996                        : The United Nations, United States, African Union and Economic Community of West African States mediate a peace                                                    deal of sorts.
1997                       : Charles Taylor gains power in a special election.
                                  July 2, 2003 : President Taylor is given an ultimatum to leave office within 48 hours.


July 20-August 11, 2003  : Liberian rebels, aided by U.S. military and U.N. peacekeepers, fight to remove Taylor from office.  

August 11, 2003               : Taylor officially relinquishes his office in a ceremony at the presidential palace. Vice President Moses                                                                               Blah is sworn in as Liberia’s 22nd president. Taylor later leaves for Nigeria, which had offered him asylum.
August 12-18, 2003         : The primary rebel group, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), agrees to withdraw its troops                                                        from  Monrovia and the nearby port, on Thursday, August 14, to a point 25 miles from the city. It signs a                                                                          comprehensive peace  agreement with the Liberian government intended to end the civil war.
September 19, 2003        : U.N. Security Council Resolution 1509 establishes a peacekeeping force in Liberia.
October 14, 2003             : Gyude Bryant takes office in Liberia as the head of an interim government meant to disarm fighters and                                                                           pave the way for elections.
February 6, 2004              : At a U.N.-hosted donor conference, Secretary of State Colin Powell says the United States is contributing $200 million                                                in reconstruction and humanitarian aid to Liberia. In addition, as a U.N. member, the U.S. will pay another $245 million                                                for U.N. peacekeeping operations.
 January 6, 2006              : Ellen Johnson Sirleaf takes office as Liberia’s first elected female president, promising to break the cycle                                                                       of violence.

 

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