Liberia was founded in 1822 as a settlement for freed slaves from the US and was proclaimed independent in 1847. Indigenous peoples form the majority of the population. In 1980, the predominant Liberian-American elite was overthrown in a coup, and a civil war began in 1990, ending with a ceasefire in 1996. A second civil war (1999–2003) resulted in a traditional government backed by the UN
From Latin liber 'free'.
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