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Originally a settlement formed in 1822 by American philanthropic societies for freed American slaves. Became an independent republic on 26 July 1847. Its boundaries were established by agreement with Britain in 1885 and later with France.

The country remained peaceful and stable until the President, V.S. Tubman died in 1971. He was replaced by Dr. Tolbert. However, the constitution was suspended following a military coup in 1980 during which the President was killed. Master Sergeant Samuel Doe assumed power as the Chairman of the military council and a new constitution was accepted by referendum in 1984. Doe and his party won the subsequent election and a civilian government was installed in 1986.

A small rebel invasion in 1989 by the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) led by Charles Taylor developed into a full scale civil war by the following year. A five nation Economic Community of West African states (ECOWAS) sent a peace keeping force (ECOMOG) that landed at Monrovia in an attempt to end the fighting, but in September 1990 President Doe was assassinated.

An interim government of National Unity was formed in August 1990. A ceasefire under ECOMOG supervision broke down in October 1992 when NPFL attempted to seize Monrovia, and as a result, ECOMOG adopted a more offensive posture. By March 1993, the NPFL had been driven to the eastern parts of the country and peace negotiations had begun. A peace agreement was signed on 25 July 1993, which finally brought about a ceasefire between the major factions.

Despite this, more fighting continued. A new Council of State was formed in December 1994, although the civil fighting continued in a muted fashion until mid-1996. This was followed by full and free elections in 1997 and Charles Taylor was elected President. The mandate for ECOMOG to continue in Liberia expired in February 1998, and since thaat date comparative peace has existed in the country.

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