Here's a look at what you need to know about Liberia, a Western African nation which borders the North Atlantic Ocean, and lies between Sierra Leone and Cote d'Ivoire.
About Liberia: Land Area - 43,000 square miles (111,369 sq km); a little larger than Tennessee
Population - 3,989,703 (July 2013 est.)
Median age - 17.9 years
Capital - Monrovia (named for U.S. President James Monroe)
Religion - Christian 85.6 percent, Muslim 12.2 percent, Traditional 0.6 percent, other 1.6 percent
GDP - $2.719 billion (2012 est.)
GDP per capita - $700 (2012 est.)
Unemployment - 85 percent (2003 est.)
Other Facts: Independence Day is July 26.
English is the official language.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is known as Africa's "Iron Lady."
A U.N. report on Liberia's 14-year civil war (1989-2003) claims that more than 250,000 people died in the conflict and more than 1.3 million had been displaced from their homes.
Timeline (selected): 1816-1817 - The American Colonization Society buys land in Liberia for the resettlement of freed slaves.
1822 - The first freed American slaves arrive in Liberia.
1847 - The American Colonization Society gives up control and Liberia gains its independence. Joseph Jenkins Roberts, a freed slave from Virginia, becomes the first president. For 133 years, Liberia is ruled by the True Whig Party, whose government and constitution are modeled after the U.S.
1980 - Samuel Doe of the Krahn ethnic group takes power in a coup, overthrowing William Tolbert.
1989 - Charles Taylor leads a revolt that leads to Doe's execution and civil war among several factions. The country stays in a state of civil war until 2003.
1996 - The United Nations, United States, African Union and Economic Community of West African States mediate a peace deal of sorts.
1997 - Charles Taylor gains power in a special election.
July 2, 2003 - President Taylor is given an ultimatum to leave office within 48 hours.
July 20-August 11, 2003 - Liberian rebels, aided by U.S. military and U.N. Peacekeepers, fight to remove Taylor from office.
August 11, 2003 - Taylor officially relinquishes his office in a ceremony at the presidential palace. Vice President Moses Blah is sworn in as Liberia's 22nd president. Taylor later leaves for Nigeria, which had offered him asylum.
August 12-18, 2003 - The primary rebel group, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), agrees to withdraw its troops from Monrovia and the nearby port, on Thursday, August 14, to a point 25 miles from the city. And it signs a peace accord with the Liberian government intended to end the civil war.
September 19, 2003 - U.N. Security Council Resolution 1509 establishes a peacekeeping force in Liberia.