How long is Liberia, and more interesting facts?

I am doing a little project on Liberia and i need to know a lot about this country

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  • ?
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
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    I hope this helps...

    Capital

    (and largest city) Monrovia

    6°19′N 10°48′W

    Official languages English

    Government Republic

    - President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

    - Vice-President Joseph Boakai

    Formation by African-Americans

    - ACS colonies

    consolidation 1821-1842

    - Independence 26 July 1847

    Area

    - Total 111,369 km² (103rd)

    43,000 sq mi

    - Water (%) 13.514

    Population

    - July 2005 estimate 3,283,000 (132nd)

    - Density 29/km² (174th)

    75/sq mi

    GDP (PPP) 2005 estimate

    - Total $3.392 billion (158th)

    - Per capita $1,003 (169th)

    HDI (1993) 0.311 (low) (n/a)

    Currency Liberian dollar1 (LRD)

    Time zone GMT (UTC)

    Internet TLD .lr

    Calling code +231

    [edit] Settlers from America

    The American Colonization Society established Liberia as a place to send freed African-Americans. African-Americans gradually emigrated to the colony and became known as Americo-Liberians, where many present day Liberians trace their ancestry.

    On July 26, 1847, the Americo-Liberian settlers declared the independence of the Republic of Liberia. The settlers regarded Africa as a "Promised Land," but they did not integrate into an African society. Once in Africa, they referred to themselves as "Americans" and were recognized as such by local Africans and by British colonial authorities in neighboring Sierra Leone. The symbols of their state — its flag, motto, and seal — and the form of government that they chose reflected their American background and diaspora experience. Lincoln University founded as Ashmun Institute in 1854 played an important role in supplying Americo-Liberians leadership for the new Nation. The first graduating class of Lincoln University, James R. Amos, his brother Thomas H. Amos, and Armistead Miller sailed for Liberia on the brig Mary C. Stevens in April, 1859 after graduation.

    The religious practices, social customs and cultural standards of the Americo-Liberians had their roots in the antebellum American South. These ideals strongly influenced the attitudes of the settlers toward the indigenous African people. The new nation, as they perceived it, was coextensive with the settler community and with those Africans who were assimilated into it. Mutual mistrust and hostility between the "Americans" along the coast and the "Natives" of the interior was a recurrent theme in the country's history, along with (usually successful) attempts by the Americo-Liberian minority to dominate people whom they considered uncivilized and inferior. They named the land "Liberia," which in European languages, and in Latin in particular, means "Land of the Free," as an homage to their freedom from slavery.

    Joseph Jenkins Roberts, First President of LiberiaThe founding of Liberia was privately sponsored by American religious and philanthropic groups, but the country enjoyed the support and unofficial cooperation of the United States government. Liberia’s government, modeled after that of the United States, was democratic in structure, if not always in substance. After 1877 the True Whig Party monopolized political power in the country, and competition for office was usually contained within the party, whose nomination virtually ensured election. Two problems confronting successive administrations were pressure from neighboring colonial powers, Britain and France, and the threat of financial insolvency, both of which challenged the country’s sovereignty. Liberia retained its independence during the Scramble for Africa, but lost its claim to extensive territories that were annexed by Britain and France. Economic development was retarded by the decline of markets for Liberian goods in the late nineteenth century and by indebtedness on a series of loans, payments on which drained the economy.

    Significant mid-twentieth century events

    Two events were of particular importance in releasing Liberia from its self-imposed isolation. The first was the grant in 1926 of a large concession to the American-owned Firestone Plantation Company; that move became a first step in the modernization of the Liberian economy. The second occurred during World War II, when the United States began providing technical and economic assistance that enabled Liberia to make economic progress and introduce social change

    1980 Coup d'etat under Doe

    In a late night raid on 12 April 1980, a successful military coup was staged by a group of noncommissioned Krahn officers led by Master Sergeant Samuel Kanyon Doe, and they killed William R. Tolbert, Jr., who had been president for nine years, in his mansion. Constituting themselves the People’s Redemption Council, Doe and his associates seized control of the government and brought an end to Africa’s first republic. Significantly, Doe was the first Liberian head of state who was not a member of the Americo-Liberian elite.

    Master Sergeant Samuel Doe.In the early 1980s, the United States provided Liberia more than $500 million for pushing the Soviet Union out of the country, and for providing the US exclusive rights to use Liberia's ports and land (including allowing the CIA to use Liberian territory to spy on Libya).

    Doe favored authoritarian policies, banning newspapers and outlawing various opposition parties. His tactic was to brand popular opposition parties as "socialist", and therefore illegal according to the Liberian constitution, while allowing less popular minor parties to remain as a token opposition. Unfortunately for Doe, popular support would then tend to realign behind one of these smaller parties, causing them to be labeled "socialist" in their turn.

    In October 1985, Liberia held the first post-coup elections, ostensibly to legitimize Doe's regime. Virtually all international observers agreed that the Liberia Action Party (LAP) led by Jackson Doe (no relation) had won the election by a clear margin. After a week of counting the votes, however, Doe fired the count officials and replaced them with his own Special Election Committee (SECOM), which announced that Doe's ruling National Democratic Party of Liberia had won with 50.9% of the vote. In response, on 12th November, a counter-coup was launched by Thomas Quiwonkpa, whose soldiers briefly occupied the Executive Mansion and the national radio station, with widespread support throughout the country. Three days later, Quiwonkpa's coup was overthrown. Following this failed coup, government repression intensified, as Doe's troops killed more than 2000 civilians and imprisoned more than 100 opposing politicians, including Jackson Doe, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and BBC journalist Isaac Bantu.

    1989 and 1999 civil wars

    In late 1989, a civil war began, and in September 1990 Doe was ousted and killed by the forces of faction leader Yormie Johnson and members of the [Gio tribe]. As a condition for the end of the conflict, interim president Amos Sawyer resigned in 1994, handing power to the Council of State. Prominent warlord Charles G. Taylor was elected as President in 1997, after leading a bloody insurgency backed by Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi. Taylor's brutal regime targeted several leading opposition and political activists. In 1998, the government sought to assassinate child rights activist Kimmie Weeks for a report he had published on its involvement in the training of child soldiers, which forced him into exile. Taylor's autocratic and dysfunctional government led to a new rebellion in 1999. More than 200,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the civil wars. The conflict intensified in mid-2003, and the fighting moved into Monrovia. As the power of the government shrank and with increasing international and American pressure for him to resign, President Charles G. Taylor accepted an asylum offer from Nigeria, but vowed: "God willing, I will be back." His statement was proved prophetic on March 29, 2006, when he was extradited from Nigeria . He is expected to face 17 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity before a United Nations tribunal holding proceedings in the Hague to address alleged crimes committed during the brutal civil war.

    Transitional government and elections

    After the exile of Taylor, Gyude Bryant was appointed Chairman of the transitional government in late 2003. The primary task of the transitional government was to prepare for fair and peaceful democratic elections. With UN and ECOMOG troops safeguarding the peace, Liberia successfully conducted presidential elections in the fall of 2005. Twenty three candidates stood for the October 11, 2005 general election, with the early favorite George Weah, internationally famous footballer, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and member of the Kru ethnic group expected to dominate the popular vote. No candidate took the required majority in the general election, so that a run-off between the top two vote getters, Weah and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, was necessary. The November 8, 2005 presidential runoff election was won decisively by Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, a Harvard-trained economist. Both the general election and runoff were marked by peace and order, with thousands of Liberians waiting patiently in the Liberian heat to cast their ballots.

    Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf presidency

    Current Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.Daughter of the first indigenous Liberian to be elected to the national legislature, Jahmale Carney Johnson, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was born in rural Liberia. Widely celebrated for being the first elected female head of state in Africa, Johnson-Sirleaf’s election focused much international attention on Liberia. A former Citibank and World Bank employee, Johnson-Sirleaf’s career also includes heading the U.N. Development Programme for Africa[1]. Johnson-Sirleaf was jailed twice during the Doe administration before escaping and going into exile. As president, Johnson-Sirleaf hopes to bring her credentials as an economist to bear and enlist the help of the international community in rebuilding Liberia’s economy and infrastructure. As of this writing, she is working to have Liberia’s external debt of $3.5 billion cancelled, and is inviting international investment. She has extended a special invitation to the Nigerian business community to participate in business opportunities in Liberia, in part as thanks for Nigeria’s help in securing Liberia’s peace. Exiled Liberians are also investing in the country and participating in Liberia's rebuilding efforts.[2]

    In addition to focusing her early efforts to restore basic services like water and electricity to the capital of Monrovia, Johnson-Sirleaf has established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission [3] to address crimes committed during the later stages of Liberia's long civil war. She is also working to re-establish Liberia's food independence. Recent presidential speeches are available from C-SPAN [4]. Johnson-Sirleaf also requested that Nigeria extradite accused war criminal and profiteer, Charles Taylor.

    Extradition and trial of Charles Taylor

    President Charles Taylor announcing his resignation shortly before going into exile in Nigeria.In March 2006, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf sent a letter formally requesting the extradition of Charles Taylor from Nigeria to face justice. While Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo confirmed receipt of the request and notified the Chairman of the African Union, Denis Sassou-Nguesso, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Mamadou Tandja on March 17, 2006, Nigeria’s plans to comply with the request were not immediately clear. After representatives from Liberia and Nigeria met to discuss the issue, Nigeria announced on March 25, 2006 that it would allow Liberian authorities to arrest Taylor. It was long feared that Taylor, a multi-millionaire, could easily slip into hiding to escape charges before the UN International War Crimes Tribunal sitting in Sierra Leone, and by March 28 Taylor had reportedly disappeared from his Nigerian compound. He was recaptured by alert border guards at dawn on March 29 trying to cross into Cameroon. Taylor was quickly flown to Liberia, where he was shuffled onto a waiting UN helicopter to face charges for crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone (although the venue for this trial has since shifted to The Hague and Taylor was flown out of Sierra Leone on June 20, 2006). The timing of Taylor’s appearance before the tribunal is crucial as the court’s mandate is set to expire later in 2006. The web site, Trial Watch, reports 4 June 2007 is the provisional date for the trial.

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  • gum
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Interesting Facts About Liberia

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