The Republic of Liberia has an estimated population of 4.1 million (UN, 2010). The capital is Monrovia. Liberia has an area of 99,067 sq km (38,250 sq miles). The main languages are English and 29 African languages belonging to the Mande, Kwa or Mel Linguistic groups.
Liberia was founded in 1820 by freed Americans and Caribbean slaves, and gained independence in 1847 from the United States. Liberia is recovering from fourteen years of civil war, which ended in 2003. The conflict in Liberia is considered to be one of Africa's most brutal civil wars, which killed an estimated 250,000 people and displaced thousands of others.
The first female president in Africa was elected in Liberia during the 2005 elections. Violence against women, such as rape and other forms of sexual violence, is widespread. The number of female victims of sexual violence increased significantly in previous years. The government recently decided to establish a special court that is dedicated to trying cases of gender and sexual violence.