Liberia, officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Sierra Leone on the west, Guinea on the north and Côte d'Ivoire on the east. Liberia's coastline is composed of mostly mangrove forests while the more sparsely populated inland consists of forests that open to a plateau of drier grasslands.
Taylor, the first former head of state to face international justice since the Nuremberg trials, stood rigid and emotionless as punishment was imposed.
He will serve his sentence in Britain where he is expected to be a “category A” inmate fit only for a maximum-security prison. If so, the cost to the British taxpayer will be about £100,000 per year.
Taylor’s humbling caused jubilation in Sierra Leone, where he fuelled a brutal civil war during his time as president of neighbouring Liberia.
Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has suspended one of her sons from the post of central bank deputy governor for failing to declare his assets, her office has said.
Charles Sirleaf was among 46 officials suspended for not making the disclosure to anti-corruption officials, it said.
He was one of three sons appointed to top posts by his mother following her re-election last year.
Critics accuse Mrs Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace laureate, of nepotism.
Today Liberians pine for the days of warlord-turned-president Charles Taylor, when rice sold for $22 a bag, about half the price it sells for today (though double its value on the world market). A 100lb bag of imported firestone rice now sells for $42. Nearly 6 out of 10 Liberians live on USD $1.25 per day, according to the government's yet-to-be released Core Welfare Indicator Questionnaire.
World Vision administered a programme funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and designed to deliver commodities like surplus U.S. wheat and oil to Liberians. In exchange, residents were to rebuild their communities after 14 years of civil war that killed more than 250,000 people, displaced millions, demolished the country's infrastructure and nearly collapsed its economy.
Instead, prosecutors said that beginning in 2005, Bondo and Fahnbulleh had the food sold at market for their own profit and used construction materials and U.S.-funded aid workers to build multiple personal homes.
In 2003, one of the main public health challenges was not malaria or tuberculosis but unburied corpses. Twelve of Liberia’s 15 counties lacked a single doctor. Following the peace agreement in 2003, hospitals and clinics have been gradually repaired, sometimes with Chinese help. But the setback was massive. As other African countries were reducing child mortality, Liberia regressed.
Liberia shares a 306-kilometer (190-mile) border with Sierra Leone. Both nations remain among the least developed in the world, with Sierra Leone ranking 180 and Liberia at 182 on the United Nations Human Development Index of 187 countries. In the years since the conflicts ended, the two countries have held elections that were deemed to be free and fair by international observers.
Survivors of Liberia's brutal civil war have staged a peace march through the Liberian capital, Monrovia, to show support for the country's leaders in the wake of renewed violence.
As they marched, curious onlookers could only watch from the sidelines, just as they have done during most of the country's turbulent past.
More than 200,000 people died in Liberia's civil war, which reduced the country to a shaky democracy still under international sanctions.
The Liberian government has lashed out at a human rights group for a new report that accuses it of ignoring war criminals from the Ivory Coast who are continuing to recruit mercenaries for deadly cross-border attacks.
The Human Rights Watch Report accused the government of “burying its head in the sand” and failing to detain, prosecute, and extradite those who committed some of the worst atrocities during the Ivory Coast's 2011 post-election crisis and then fled to Liberia.
Liberia is Africa's oldest republic, but it became better known in the 1990s for its long-running, ruinous civil war and its role in a rebellion in neighbouring Sierra Leone.
Although founded by freed American and Caribbean slaves, Liberia is mostly inhabited by indigenous Africans, with the slaves' descendants comprising 5% of the population.
The Republic of Liberia, on the coast of West Africa, has a population of about 3.5 million. Despite its natural wealth in gems, rubber and timber, it is one of the world’s poorest countries, with an 85 percent unemployment rate and 60 percent of the population under 25 years old. It is a nation struggling to recover from 14 years of civil war that claimed more than 200,000 lives and displaced a third of the population.