Liberia. Once again, the hope of peace in the glorified L. failed as fierce fighting broke out in the capital Monrovia in April. A peace agreement signed in 1995 had given the largest militia groups a seat in the government and in the governing council. In addition, the city had been filled by soldiers from various factions. The fighting began when the two dominant militia leaders, Charles Taylor and Alhaji Kromah, sent their men to arrest a third leader, Roosevelt Johnson, whom they accused of murder. Johnson’s soldiers made strong resistance and were supported by two other militia recruited from the same people group, Krahn. Johnson’s forces took hundreds of people hostage – Liberian civilians, Lebanese businessmen and soldiers from the West African Peace Monitoring Economic Community ECOMOG, the West African States Monitoring Group.
Several attempts at ceasefire were almost immediately broken, and the fighting soon degenerated into complete anarchy. Soldiers from all militia looted the city and shot parts of it in ruins. All aid organizations, including the UN, lost all equipment. Food supplies intended for civilian refugees were destroyed. Most foreigners had sought protection at the US embassy and began evacuating after a few days.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: What does LR stand for? In the field of geography, this two letter acronym means Liberia. Check this to see its other meanings in English and other 35 languages.
The fighting lasted well into May and forced tens of thousands of people to flee to neighboring countries. Without food or water and under severe sanitary conditions, thousands of people traveled by substandard ships along the West African coast before being allowed to land. Eventually, the fighting erupted, and in August, the parties agreed on a new peace plan drawn up by the Economic Cooperation Organization ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States. All militias must have been disarmed by 31 January 1997 and general elections will be held on 31 May 1997. ECOMOG more than doubles to 18,000 men. Former President of the Council, in effect President, was appointed former Senator Ruth Perry.
However, the suspicion between the militias was still great and the disarmament went slow. There is also a great deal of skepticism among the population as to whether this peace plan should really give lasting peace.
According to Countryaah.com, the population of Liberia in 1996 was 2,044,550, ranking number 141 in the world. The population growth rate was -0.300% yearly, and the population density was 21.2278 people per km2.
LIBERIA. – The Republic of Liberia hosts 1,250,000 residents (in 1955) almost all native Negroes, only partly civilized and mostly pagan. The descendants of the slaves from America (so-called Free-Americans) are just 15,000. Quite substantial (300,000 units) is the Mohammedan religious group. The country is divided into three provinces: the western, the central, and the eastern. The new port of Monrovia, on Bushroad Island, was built after World War II. It enjoys the free port regime, the only example of its kind in the West African environment. Its trade is constituted, in the export current, above all by rubber and iron ore. Goods in transit to and from Guinea use the new Monrovia-N ‘road zérékoré. The minor port is Harper, which serves for the export of products from the cauciferous plantations along the Cavally River. The most important product of the Liberian economy is rubber.
The American company Firestone Rubber since 1926 has secured the concession of one million acres for the cultivation of Hevea brasiliensis. This company owns two plantations: one very large and which also has an international airport (Roberts Field) at Harbel on the Farmington River, 25km from the sea, and the other much smaller on the Cavally River. The two plantations currently cover an area of about 40,000 ha, where 10-11 million plants are planted. Goodrich also concluded an agreement with the Liberian government in 1954 for the cultivation of Hevea: the first works began in 1955 in Zui near Bomi Hills. The annual export of rubber is around 40,000 tons.
In the last century the forest provided coloring materials, now replaced by synthetic ones. Among the precious woods mahogany prevails. Coffee was the main export product until about 1880, until Brazil began to dominate the international market. Cocoa was introduced there from Fernando Poo Island around 1930, but its importance is still limited. A product that is the subject of intense traffic with Guinea is the kola nut. Banana cultivation developed in a German concession near Sinoe. The production of grapefruit, piassava, palm oil and sugar cane also has a certain importance. The most important food product is rice, which is able to completely satisfy the demand of the internal market.
In the mining field, LAMCO, in which the Swedish capital is particularly interested, has identified, alongside those already operating in Bomi Hills, new iron deposits at Putu in the Nimba Mountains. The Bomi Hills field is connected by a railway line to the port of Monrovia, a line which was completed in 1951. The concession for the exploitation belongs to an American company. The first exports took place in 1951 and today they are around one million tonnes per year. Gold production is no longer conspicuous.
It can generally be observed that the country’s economy is under the influence of American capital.