World Country Liberia

About the world country Liberia, its location, size, population, and who is in power.



Location: On the west African coast between Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast. Size: 43,000 sq. mi. (111,369 sq. km.). Population: 1,940,000 (3.5% Americo-Liberian).

Who Really Rules: From 1877 until April, 1980, Liberia was ruled by the True Whig party, run by the descendants of freed American slaves who colonized the area beginning in 1822. Under the corrupt, nepotistic leadership of President William Tolbert, these Americo-Liberians maintained a position of economic, social, and political privilege.

On Apr. 12,1980, a group of soldiers from Liberia's 5,000-man army, led by 28-year-old Sgt. Samuel Doe, overthrew Tolbert and executed the president and a dozen top officials. Doe heads the People's Redemption Council (PRC), composed of 17 low-level military officers, primarily from indigenous tribes. Though his cabinet includes leaders of the civilian movements that opposed Tolbert, Doe and the PRC set policy.

Under the True Whigs, Liberia maintained close economic links with the U.S., particularly Firestone, which operates the world's largest rubber plantation in Liberia, and U.S. maritime companies, which own most of the 2,500 ships of Liberian registry. Thus far the new regime has not threatened any of those relations. A few months after taking power, the PRC agreed to follow financial policies demanded by the U.S. and the International Monetary Fund as a condition for foreign loans. In November, 1980, Doe ordered all Liberians to forgo at least one month's salary.

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