Liberia (officially the Republic of Liberia) is a country in West Africa founded in 1821. It is bordered by Sierra Leone to its west, Guinea to its north and Ivory Coast to its east.
Liberia is the only country in Africa founded by United States colonization and Caribbean slaves while occupied by native Africans, with the slaves' descendants comprising 5% of the population.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (born 29 October 1938) is the 24th and current President of Liberia.
Liberia’s population is about 4 million people. And it covers an area of 111,369 square kilometers. The capital and the largest city of Liberia is Monrovia, named after James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States and a prominent supporter of the colonization.
The West African nation was relatively calm until 1980 when William Tolbert was overthrown by Sergeant Samuel Doe after food price riots. By the late 1980s, arbitrary rule and economic collapse culminated in civil war when Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) militia overran much of the countryside, entering the capital in 1990. Mr Doe was killed.
Fighting intensified as the rebels splintered and battled each other, the Liberian army and West African peacekeepers. In 1995 a peace agreement was signed, leading to the election of Mr Taylor as president.
The respite was brief, with anti-government fighting breaking out in the north in 1999.
A peace agreement in 2003 led to democratic elections in 2005.
Today, Liberia is recovering from the lingering effects of the civil wars when between 250,000 and 520,000 people died and their consequent economic upheaval, but about 85% of the population continue to live below the international poverty line, and the country's economic and political stability has recently been threatened by a deadly Ebola virus epidemic.
English is the official language and over thirty indigenous languages are also spoken within the country.
Over 85 percent of the population is Christians, over 12 percent are Muslims, largely coming from the Mandingo and Vai ethnic groups, o.5 percent practice traditional indigenous religions and 1.5 percent subscribe to no religion.
In Liberia, customary law allows men to have up to 4 wives. Thus one third of married Liberian women between the ages of 15-49 are in polygamous marriages.
The most popular sport in Liberia is association football. The Liberia national football team has reached the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) twice, in 1996 and 2002.
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