Liberia in West Africa is the continents oldest republic.  Liberia is bordered by Sierra Leone to the northwest, Guinea in the north, Côte d'Ivoire in the east and the Atlantic Ocean in the south and west. Monrovia is the capital.

In 1822 the American Colonization Society believed former American and Caribbean slaves would have greater opportunity if returned to Africa, and rather than be repatriated to their countries of origin, the society helped them establish Liberia. 

The Americo-Liberian minority (5% of the population) ruled over the indigenous population (95%) for 130 years until the 1980's when food price riots ended in a military coup. Authoritarian rule and economic collapse ensued and by the late 1980's a rebellion rose against the ruling regime, leading to a prolonged civil war in which 250,000 people were killed and many fled the country.  The Civil War left the country in economic ruin and basic services like electricity and running water were destroyed. 

In response to the dire situation, in 2003 the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) was deployed to help secure peace and ensure adherence to the 2003 International peace accord.  Whilst Liberia has been making progress in its post conflict era, the Ebola outbreak threatens to reverse the gains the country has made.

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Last Updated: 8 October 2014