The Republic of Liberia is a country in West Africa. It is bounded by Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. The capital and largest city is Monrovia. It is named in honour of U.S. President James Monroe, who was a prominent supporter of the colonization of Liberia and the American Colonization Society. Liberia has a population of around 4.7 million. The official language is English. Liberia is the second oldest independent state in Africa.
In the 15th century, Portuguese reached the coast of Liberia, but explored the country no further. The American Colonization Society founded Liberia in 1822 as a place for free African Americans to migrate to. Liberia was a project for the settlement of former slaves from the United States and one of the first independent states on the African continent. Conflicts between the descendants of former slaves and longer resident ethnic groups still play an important part in the countries dichotomy. On January 3, 1848, Liberia gained their independence.
The Armed Forces of Liberia consist of about 2100 soldiers and a coast guard.
The Order of the African Redemption is the highest title and was conferred upon individuals in recognition of humanitarian service to the nation and to those who have made significant contributions to the emancipation of African Americans.
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