The official name is the Republic of Liberia.
Located in the western part of Africa. The area is 111.4 thousand km2, the population is 3.3 million people. (2002). The official language is English. The capital is Monrovia (1.3 million people, 2000). Public holiday – Independence Day July 26 (since 1847). The monetary unit is the Liberian dollar (equal to 100 cents).
Member ok. 40 international organizations, incl. UN (since 1945), a number of its specialized organizations, the AU, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, etc.
Geography of Liberia
It is located between 10°50′ and 13°18′ East longitude and 6°50′ and 10° North latitude. It borders Sierra Leone and Guinea to the north, and Côte d’Ivoire to the east. In the southwest it is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The coastline is flat (579 km), in some places indented by lagoons, mangrove swamps, river estuaries. The coastal plain gradually rises and passes into the Leono-Liberian Upland. Peaks: Mt. Nimba (1752 m) at the junction of the borders with Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire and Mt. Vuteve (1380 m) – in the north. The bowels are rich in iron ore, diamonds and gold.
Red-yellow lateritic soils predominate. The climate is tropical, hot and humid. The average annual precipitation on the coast reaches 5000 mm, in the interior – 1500-2000 mm.
The maximum precipitation falls in the “rainy season” (May-October) and the minimum – in the “dry season” (November-April). The average monthly temperature does not fall below +23°C.
1/3 of the country’s territory is occupied by humid evergreen tropical forests (mahogany, rosewood, hevea, various types of palms, pandaus), which, to the border with Guinea, turn into tall grass savannah (umbrella acacia, baobab).
Many different animals live in Liberia (elephants, antelopes, monkeys, buffaloes, leopards, wild pigs, snakes, crocodiles). A significant area is covered by the habitat of the tsetse fly.
An extensive network of rivers. The largest of them are: Mano, Loffa, Saint Paul, Saint John, Sess and Cavalli.
The population of Liberia
According to an estimate for 2002, the population growth is 2.54%, the birth rate is 45.95%, the death rate is 16.05%, and the infant mortality rate is 130.21 people. per 1000 newborns. Life expectancy 51.8 years, incl. women 53.33 and men 50.33 years. Age structure of the population: 0-14 years 43.3%, 15-64 years 53.2%, 65 years and older 3.5%. Liberians are somewhat dominated by women, who are 2% more than men. 45% of the population lives in cities.
In terms of ethnic composition, 95% are indigenous Africans representing the Mande, Kwa and Mel language groups and belonging to 16-20 local tribes (Kpelle, Bassa, Gio, Kru, Grebo, Mano, Krahn, Gola, Gban-di, Loma, Kissi, Wai, dei, bella, mandingo, mende), 2.5% are Americo-Liberians (descendants of immigrants from the United States), 2.5% are descendants of immigrants from the Caribbean. Languages – English, as spoken by up to 20 local languages, many of which do not have a written language.
According to Countryaah, 40% of the population are adherents of local religious beliefs, 40% are Christians and 20% are Muslims.
History of Liberia
Liberia is a unique state founded by free black US citizens who returned to Africa, former slaves. On January 7, 1822, the first group of settlers landed here; on July 26, 1847, the country was proclaimed a republic. Although for all the years of its existence, only approx. 10 thousand American blacks, more than 100 years the leading political and economic positions in the country were occupied by Americo-Liberians.
In con. 1970s economic difficulties associated with the decline in the world markets for rubber and iron ore, brought to power representatives of indigenous ethnic groups. In 1980, Sgt. S. Doe led a military coup, and in 1986 became President of Liberia. However, neither the removal of the Americo-Liberians from power nor the transition to civilian rule changed the plight of the population. In the 1980s interethnic relations also sharply worsened, which resulted in the internecine war of 1989–96, which claimed the lives of more than 10 thousand Liberians.
The entry into Liberia of inter-African forces under the auspices of ECOWAS, their peacekeeping activities led to the end in 1996 of active hostilities. In 1997, general elections were held in the country, which brought victory to the rebel leader Ch. Taylor, who became president.
However, sluggish military clashes between government forces and the opposition continued. Despite being ok. 1/2 of the population of Liberia continued to maintain the status of refugees, and the economy undermined by hostilities was not restored, the ruling circles of Liberia continued to escalate tension in the region, supporting separate military-political groups in neighboring Sierra Leone with weapons and material. In March 2003, the Special UN Tribunal for Sierra Leone charged Taylor with war crimes. Opposition militias entered Monrovia. In June, a ceasefire agreement between the government and the rebels was signed and entered into force.