Liberia in West Africa is the continents oldest republic. 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 ruled over the indigenous population for 130 years until the 1980's when food price riots ended in a military coup led by Sergeant Samuel Doe. In 1989, Charles Taylor led a rebellion against Doe’s regime and a prolonged civil war ensued. Taylor won a presidential election in 1997. The peace agreement of 2003 ended the violence and saw Taylor resign. The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) deployed to implement the peace accord.

The election of 2005 brought President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to power and she was reelected in 2011. General elections, Presidential and the House of Representatives, are scheduled in October 2017.

Liberia’s long running conflict has left infrastructure and the economy in a poor state. Iron ore, rubber, gold and timber are its primary source of export revenue.

The Australian High Commission in Accra, Ghana represents Australia in Liberia.

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Last Updated: 14 February 2018