Portal:Liberia

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The Liberia Portal

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Flag of Liberia
Coat of Arms of Liberia
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Liberia About this sound /laɪˈbɪəriə/ , officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country on the west coast of Africa, bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, and the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2008 Census, the nation is home to 3,476,608 people and covers 111,369 square kilometres (43,000 sq mi).

Liberia's capital is Monrovia. Liberia has a hot equatorial climate with most rainfall arriving in summer with harsh harmattan winds in the dry season. Liberia's populated Pepper Coast is composed of mostly mangrove forests while the sparsely populated inland is forested, later opening to a plateau of drier grasslands.

The history of Liberia is unique among African nations because of its relationship with the United States. It is one of the few countries in Africa, and the only country in West Africa, without roots in the European Scramble for Africa. It was founded and colonized by freed American slaves with the help of a private organization called the American Colonization Society in 1821-1822, on the premise former American slaves would have greater freedom and equality there.

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President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf with AFL forces in 2008

The Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) are the armed forces of the Republic of Liberia. Founded as the Liberian Frontier Force in 1908, the military was retitled in 1956. For virtually all of its history, the AFL has received considerable materiel and training assistance from the United States. For most of the 1941–89 period, training was largely provided by U.S. advisers, though this assistance has not prevented the same generally low levels of effectiveness common to most of the armed forces in the developing world.

For most of the Cold War, the AFL saw little action, apart from a reinforced company group which was sent to ONUC in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the 1960s. This changed with the advent of the First Liberian Civil War in 1989. The AFL became entangled in the conflict, which lasted from 1989 to 1996–97, and then the Second Liberian Civil War, which lasted from 1999 to 2003.

The AFL is in the process of being reformed and retrained after being completely demobilized following the second civil war. The AFL currently consists of two infantry battalions, and a small Liberian National Coast Guard, which is being reformed. The Liberian Government has requested that a Nigerian Army officer serve as head of the military during the transitional period. (Read more...)

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Monrovia 10.74191W 6.27538N.jpg
Credit: NASA

Satellite image of Monrovia.

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Likely one of Billy's descendants

Billy or William Johnson Hippopotamus (1920s – October 11, 1955) was a Pygmy Hippopotamus given as a pet to U.S. President Calvin Coolidge. Captured in Liberia on one of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company plantations, he was given to Coolidge by Harvey Firestone in 1927. Billy spent most of his life in the National Zoo in Washington D.C.. In addition to his fame as an exotic presidential pet—which afforded him a trip to the 1939 New York World's Fair—Billy is also notable as the common ancestor to most pygmy hippos in American zoos. By the time of his death in 1955, Billy had sired 23 calves, 13 of whom survived at least a year.

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