Geographic and Governmental Profile of Liberia

Background
Settlement of freed slaves from the US in what is today Liberia began in 1822; by 1847, the Americo-Liberians were able to establish a republic. William TUBMAN, president from 1944-71, did much to promote foreign investment and to bridge the economic, social, and political gaps between the descendents of the original settlers and the inhabitants of the interior. In 1980, a military coup led by Samuel DOE ushered in a decade of authoritarian rule. In December 1989, Charles TAYLOR launched a rebellion against DOE's regime that led to a prolonged civil war in which DOE himself was killed. A period of relative peace in 1997 allowed for elections that brought TAYLOR to power, but major fighting resumed in 2000. An August 2003 peace agreement ended the war and prompted the resignation of former president Charles TAYLOR, who faces war crimes charges in The Hague related to his involvement in Sierra Leone's civil war. After two years of rule by a transitional government, democratic elections in late 2005 brought President Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF to power. The UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) maintains a strong presence throughout the country, but the security situation is still fragile and the process of rebuilding the social and economic structure of this war-torn country continues.
Location
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone
Geographic coordinates
6 30 N, 9 30 W
Continent / Subcontinent
Africa
Area
total:
111,369 sq km
rank:
104
land:
96,320 sq km
water:
15,049 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly larger than Tennessee
Land boundaries
total:
1,585 km
border countries:
Guinea 563 km, Cote d'Ivoire 716 km, Sierra Leone 306 km
Coastline
579 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
200 nm
Climate
tropical; hot, humid; dry winters with hot days and cool to cold nights; wet, cloudy summers with frequent heavy showers
Terrain
mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point:
Mount Wuteve 1,380 m
Natural resources
iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, hydropower
Land use
arable land:
3.43%
permanent crops:
1.98%
other:
94.59% (2005)
Get Chart Code
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Irrigated land
30 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
232 cu km (1987)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
0.11 cu km/yr (27%/18%/55%)
per capita:
34 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
dust-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to March)
Environment - current issues
tropical rain forest deforestation; soil erosion; loss of biodiversity; pollution of coastal waters from oil residue and raw sewage
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note
facing the Atlantic Ocean, the coastline is characterized by lagoons, mangrove swamps, and river-deposited sandbars; the inland grassy plateau supports limited agriculture
Country name
conventional long form:
Republic of Liberia
conventional short form:
Liberia
Government type
republic
Capital
name:
Monrovia
geographic coordinates:
6 18 N, 10 48 W
time difference:
UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
15 counties; Bomi, Bong, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Lofa, Margibi, Maryland, Montserrado, Nimba, River Cess, River Gee, Sinoe
Independence
26 July 1847
Constitution
6 January 1986
Legal system
mixed legal system of common law (based on Anglo-American law) and customary law
International law organization participation
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF (since 16 January 2006); Vice President Joseph BOAKAI (since 16 January 2006); note - the President is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government:
President Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF (since 16 January 2006); Vice President Joseph BOAKAI (since 16 January 2006)
cabinet:
Cabinet appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate
elections:
president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held on 11 October and 8 November 2011 (next to be held in 2017)
election results:
Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF re-elected president; percent of vote, second round - Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF 90.7%, Winston TUBMAN 9.3%
Legislative branch
bicameral National Assembly consists of the Senate (30 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve nine-year terms) and the House of Representatives (73 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms)
elections:
Senate - last held on 11 October 2011 (next to be held in 2014); House of Representatives - last held on 11 October 2011 (next to be held in 2017)
election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UP 10, NPP 6, CDC 3, ADP 2, NUDP 2, LDP 1, LP 1, NDC 1, NDP 1, independents 3; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UP 24, CDC 11, LP 7, NUDP 6, NDC 5, ADP 3, NPP 3, MPC 2, LDP 1, LTP 1, NRP 1, independents 9
Judicial branch
Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders
Alliance for Peace and Democracy or APD [Togba-na TIPOTEH]; Congress for Democratic Change or CDC [George WEAH]; Liberty Party or LP [Charles BRUMSKINE]; National Patriotic Party or NPP [Roland MASSAQUOI]; Unity Party or UP [Varney SHERMAN]
Political pressure groups and leaders
other:
demobilized former military officers
International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Jeremiah Congbeh SULUNTEH
chancery:
5201 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
telephone:
[1] (202) 723-0437
FAX:
[1] (202) 723-0436
consulate(s) general:
New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Linda THOMAS-GREENFIELD
embassy:
111 United Nations Drive, P. O. Box 98, Mamba Point, 1000 Monrovia, 10
mailing address:
use embassy street address
telephone:
[231] 7-705-4826
FAX:
[231] 7-701-0370
Flag description
11 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; a white five-pointed star appears on a blue square in the upper hoist-side corner; the stripes symbolize the signatories of the Liberian Declaration of Independence; the blue square represents the African mainland, and the star represents the freedom granted to the ex-slaves; according to the constitution, the blue color signifies liberty, justice, and fidelity, the white color purity, cleanliness, and guilelessness, and the red color steadfastness, valor, and fervor
the design is based on the US flag
National symbol(s)
white star
National anthem
name:
"All Hail, Liberia Hail!"
lyrics/music:
Daniel Bashiel WARNER/Olmstead LUCA
lyrics adopted 1847, music adopted 1860; the anthem's author would become the third president of Liberia
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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