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Republic of Liberia on the west coast of Africa, bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, and the Atlantic Ocean had a 2008 population of 3,476,608. Its capital is Monrovia. 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.  It is one of the few countries in Africa without roots in the Europe. Founded as a colony by the American Colonization Society in 1821-22 as a place for slaves freed in the United States to emigrate to Africa. Slaves freed from slave ships also were sent there instead of being repatriated to their countries of origin. These freed slaves formed an elite group in Liberian society, and, in 1847 founded the Republic of Liberia, establishing a government modeled on that of the United States. Monrovia is the capitol. A 1980 military coup began instability that eventually led to civil war, hundreds of thousands dead, and the country's economy devastated. Liberia still is recovering from the lingering effects of the civil war and related economic dislocation.


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