The Leading Global Portal for Diplomats!    
    Keep in touch with the community Prepare for your new career Take care of personal affairs Chat with diplomats online      
Home > New Posting > Post Reports
Preface Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

After 7 years of civil war, a tentative peace returned to Liberia in 1996. Presidential elections were held in 1997. Former faction leader Charles Taylor, one of 13 candidates, won the presidency by an overwhelming majority in elections judged free and transparent by international observers. He promised to give high priority to national reconciliation, human rights, the rule of law, ensuring a stable environment for economic development, and eliminating corruption. In most of these areas, he has failed to achieve real progress. In 1998 and 1999, there was factional fighting in Monrovia and the northern Lofa County. A partial evacuation of the U.S. Embassy took place in September 1998 as a result of unrest following Taylor rival Roosevelt Johnson's asylum demand at the Embassy. The country now faces many problems: reintegration of former fighters, resettlement of displaced persons and refugees, and reconstruction of the country's destroyed infrastructure. A tour in Monrovia promises to be one of the most challenging and rewarding in a Foreign Service career.

The Host Country

Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Liberia, the oldest independent republic in Africa, lies on the West African coast just 300 miles north of the Equator. It has a relatively long coastline of 350 miles. From the lagoons and mangrove swamps of the coastal plains, the land rises evenly along its length in belts parallel to the coast, from rolling hills, through a broader region of plateaus and low mountain ranges, into the foothills of the Guinea Highlands. Just beyond these 4,500-foot peaks originate the headwaters of the Niger. Half of the country is covered by tropical rain forest.

Liberia is so situated in the Tropics as to be directly in the path of the seasonal winds. From May through November, the prevailing monsoon winds drop most of the nearly 200 inches of rain received annually in the capital city of Monrovia. From December through April, the red, dust-laden harmattan winds originating over the Sahara Desert prevail. The transition periods between the seasons are punctuated by violent thunderstorms and sudden torrential downpours.

Temperatures average 81°F; humidity averages 82%. There is little variation over the course of the year. Precautions must be taken against mildew and rust caused by the heat, constant humidity, and the corrosive salt air of the coast.

Population Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

More than 95% of Liberia's 2.8 million people are of indigenous African origin. The civil war caused approximately 750,000 Liberians to take refuge in neighboring countries and displaced more than one million people.

Before the war, the majority of the population farmed in the interior. As the country's infrastructure is rebuilt, it is expected that the majority of Liberians displaced by the war will gradually return to their towns and villages.

There are 16 recognized ethnic groups. Although Islam is gaining adherents, as much as 80% of the population profess to be Christian. A significant portion of the population follows traditional animist beliefs or blends traditional religions with Christianity or Islam. Although the law prohibits religious discrimination, Islamic leaders complain that Muslims, especially Mandingos, are discriminated against.

Five percent of the population is descended from freed slaves, many of whom came from the U.S. after 1822 under the sponsorship of various religious and philanthropic societies; they were joined by others who were rescued from slave ships intercepted by the British and American navies. Dominating political and economic life, the settlers instituted the social customs and cultural attitudes of the antebellum American South. Their attire, architecture, place names, flag, and government were patterned on the U.S. model. Liberians feel strong ties to the U.S.

With no European colonial domination and only a very small number of settlements along the coast, much of the interior remained isolated from Western influence. Roads in the interior were not built until the 1930s. The civil war dramatically affected rural cultural life by dispersing many communities. Nearly half the population still lives in and around the capital of Monrovia. With one of the highest growth rates in the world, more than half of Liberia's population is under 15 years of age. Rapid population growth, 85% unemployment, 15% literacy, and the almost total absence of infrastructure place powerful stresses on the country.

Public Institutions Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

In 1847, Liberia became the first African republic when it declared its independence, from the founding American societies and adopted a constitution based on the U.S. model. The dominant True Whig Party comprised of Americo-Liberians ruled virtually uncontested until, 1980, when the government was overthrown by a group of noncommissioned officers led by Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe, an indigenous Krahn.

Prior to the coup, increasing political and economic tensions, long in the making, resulted in rioting that severely damaged the capital. The disturbances were put down violently by government forces. Repressive measures met with growing opposition culminating in the 1980 coup, which placed members of the indigenous tribal majority in power for the first time. Suspending the Constitution and imposing martial law, the ruling People's Redemption Council promised a return to civilian government within 5 years. In 1984, a new constitution guaranteeing personal and political freedoms was ratified by referendum, an Interim National Assembly was appointed, and a ban on political activities was lifted.

Multiparty elections were held in 1985 and, amidst much controversy, Samuel K. Doe was declared the winner. One month later, an aborted coup provoked considerable violence, much of it along ethnic lines. Following the coup attempt, the Doe regime became much more repressive. In 1989, former director of the government's General Services Agency, Charles Taylor, invaded Nimba County with Gio and Mano fighters to free Liberia from Doe's oppression. Initially, most Liberians welcomed the arrival of Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), but the "war of liberation" turned into a 7-year civil war, spawning seven warring factions whose 40-60,000 fighters rampaged through the countryside, attacking civilians more than other combatants, looting and burning villages. It is estimated 200,000 died as a result of the fighting; the country's infrastructure was devastated. After 14 failed peace accords, the Abuja Accord, signed in 1996 in Nigeria, led to disarmament and demobilization, creating the conditions for democratic elections in 1997. Cross-border incursions and instability within the country's security forces continue to plague the Liberian people. The Taylor regime is rapidly becoming very lowly regarded.

Liberia traditionally has had a dual system of judicial administration, dividing authority between the central and local governments, though their respective jurisdictions have not always been clear. The extension of central government authority back to the countryside—in the form of competent police presence and the opening of courts—may take a number of years to establish.

The central government is divided into executive, legislative, and judicial branches, similar to that of the U.S. The Superintendents of Liberia's 15 counties, appointed by the president, have regional responsibilities. Local government is administered through a system of paramount, clan, and town chiefs, under the direction of the Superintendents and the Ministry of the Interior.

Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

The isolation of the interior until the 1930s left much of traditional culture intact. Although the civil war dispersed the country people, many of their traditions have been kept alive by elders. The main socializing forces have been the age grades of Eastern Liberia, and the "secret" initiation societies, such as the men's Poro and women's Sande societies of the western and central portions of the country.

Traditionally, village children attended a "bush school" for 6-12 months, while those attending modern schools participated only for shorter periods between semesters. In the bush school, children were taught the skills and traditions needed for life, forged the bonds of society membership, and passed together into adulthood. In addition, much traditional knowledge reposed in special societies that incorporate, or have developed around, particular skills and needs, such as the use of herbal medicines, blacksmithing, and bridge building. The practice of female genital mutilation was promoted by the secret societies, affecting about half the women in pre-war Liberia.

All Liberian children were seriously victimized by the war. An estimated 50,000 were killed; of those wounded, orphaned or abandoned, many witnessed terrible atrocities, or committed atrocities themselves. Twenty-one percent (4,036) of the combatants who disarmed under the provisions of the Abuja Peace Accord were child soldiers under the age of 17. Many children still suffer post-traumatic stress disorder and some are still addicted to drugs. It is estimated that 1.4 million children experienced violence, hunger, and homelessness during the war. The number of street children in Monrovia remains high. NGOs and UNICEF continue retraining and rehabilitation programs for former child fighters. The education and nurturing of Liberia's children is one of the major tasks of citizens and government in post-war Liberia.

Although much reduced, traditional arts still exist in Liberia: dancing, storytelling, and carving. The masked and costumed "country devils" serve not only to enforce traditional values, but in some instances to entertain; some are viewed as the embodiment of forest spirits and are powerful agents of social control. Statues, masks, and other carvings are not only aesthetic works, but they also serve as links to the spiritual world. The carvings of one group in particular, the Dan (Mano and Gio) of northeast Liberia, are highly prized by collectors. Now that the war is over, these arts are being revived as vital components of public occasions, such as at the Kendeja National Cultural Center. Dancing and storytelling are being used to help in rehabilitation efforts. The University of Liberia is encouraging efforts to record the oral histories, knowledge of plant medicines, and the manufacture of items characteristic of traditional life. The National Museum in the capital, which once played a leadership role in this effort, was largely destroyed by the civil war.

The University of Liberia in Monrovia, and Cuttington College in the interior, were founded in the mid- and late 1800s. Both of Liberia's institutions of higher learning were destroyed during the war and are presently struggling to rebuild their libraries, classrooms and laboratories. Many of Liberia's trained professionals, including the universities' faculties, left the country during the war, and have not returned.

Prior to the war, the formation of technical institutes and public foundations—such as the Tubman Institute of Technology and the Society for the Conservation of Nature in Liberia—resulted in a growing awareness of the benefits of technology, as well as its possible threat to traditional culture and the environment.

Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Liberia's economy was divided along traditional and modern sectors prior to 1989. Seventy percent of the laborforce worked in subsistence agriculture based on rice farming, yet contributed less than 20% of the country's gross domestic product. The development of Liberia's modern industrial sector began with the opening of the Firestone Rubber Plantation in 1926. World War II brought an increased demand for rubber and heightened U.S. interest in the region, resulting in the construction by the U.S. Government of the Port of Monrovia and Roberts International Airport. The Open Door Policy of President William V.S. Tubman in the late 1940s led to the opening of high-grade iron ore mines. The U.S. Government, grateful for Liberian support during World War II, helped create a Liberian flag of convenience, which made Liberia the world's largest open maritime registry for more than 30 years. Tubman's policy also encouraged an increase in other foreign investments and attracted merchants of many different nationalities to Liberia. Exports of diamonds, timber, gold, coffee, and cocoa added to export revenues.

The major rubber and iron ore concessions played central roles in the development of the national economy, both in providing government revenues (amounting to 40% of the national budget in the 1950s), and generating wage employment. However, the concessions were often enclaves and their benefits did not reach much of the economy. This led some historians to characterize this as a period of "growth without development."

In the late 1970s, rising oil prices and the world recession reduced demand for Liberia's exports. The government borrowed heavily at high interest rates with unfavorable repayment terms in order to maintain consumption levels, and to finance the costly construction of facilities for the 1979 OAU Summit Conference.

The subsequent "rice riots" of 1979 and the 1980 coup precipitated capital flight and a brain drain of many of the best educated, while persistent budget deficits financed with offshore revenues perpetuated foreign exchange shortages. Starting in 1982, this situation was further complicated by the issuance of almost 100 million dollars in $5 coins and the emergence of an unofficial "parallel market," which offered Liberian coins at a discount against the U.S. dollar. In 1997, the Taylor administration inherited two separate Liberian currencies in use in different parts of the country in addition to the U.S. dollar negotiable in the capital and along the major trade routes. In the year 2000, the new Liberian dollar unified both currencies. The rate of exchange approximates 40 Liberian dollars to one U.S. dollar.

The economic outlook for Liberia is heavily dependent on the government tackling the problem of a destroyed infrastructure, creating an environment that encourages foreign investment, and finding world markets for its exports. The Liberian iron ore sector, which had already depleted the high-grade ore deposits before 1989, will probably never be rebuilt. Because of Liberia's arrears on foreign debt, financial assistance from the World Bank, the IMF, and other multilateral donors was curtailed. Imports of essential items do continue unabated and consumer goods, though expensive, are still reasonably available.

Lebanese and Indian merchants dominate the commercial sector.

Ravaged by the war, Liberia's economy remains in severe disarray. The Taylor administration inherited more than 3 billion dollars in foreign debt. No reliable information on the gross domestic product has been available since the war began in 1989. One thousand U.S. dollars is an estimate of the per capita GDP. Liberia ranks among Africa's highest per capita recipients of U.S. aid. Recently, aid to the Liberian people has been jeopardized by the belief held by most western powers that President Taylor is providing assistance to Sierra Leone rebels through arms and diamond trading.

Liberia is a founding member of both the regional economic trading blocs: the Mano River Union (with neighboring Sierra Leone and Guinea), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which contributed over 10,000 soldiers from 10 member countries through its military arm, ECOMOG, to help provide security in Liberia during the civil war.


Automobiles Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

U.S. Mission personnel in Monrovia may ship private cars. U.S. Government personnel and USAID contract employees are restricted to the importation of one duty-free vehicle per tour. Exceptions can be obtained when vehicles are wrecked or stolen, or where maintenance costs become prohibitive. Vehicles may be imported or purchased from departing employees.

Liberia has only about 400 miles of paved roads, including those in Monrovia. The remainder is constructed of lateritic soils. These roads are often rough, and in poorly drained areas become impassable quagmires during the 6-month rainy season. In addition, the coastal salt air attacks car finishes, radiators, air-conditioning systems, and the chassis. For these reasons, simple, rugged automobiles, rust proofed and undercoated, and with good ground clearance are recommended.

Heavy-duty springs and shock absorbers are mandatory for up-country travel, as is air-conditioning to provide relief from heat, humidity, and dust. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended. Unleaded gas is not available in Liberia. Catalytic converters must be removed before shipment or after arrival at post.

Diplomatic Corps plates are issued to official vehicles and POVs. A Liberian drivers license is required and can be obtained through the General Services Office. A photocopy of a valid U.S. drivers license, three color photographs, and a small fee are required for processing. A vision test, obtainable at the Embassy Health Unit, is also required. Locally obtained third-party liability insurance for cars is mandatory, at approximately U.S. $100 per year. Full coverage for personal liability and collision insurance may cost from $800 to $1,200 per year.

General vehicle repair is not available, as many dealers closed or curtailed their services due to the war and have not reopened. Japanese and Korean cars predominate and should be considered if shipping a new car to Liberia. A factory manual and basic spare parts should be brought to post; mechanics with experience in American cars can be found, but parts and materials should be made available to them. Fuel injection engines should be avoided due to a lack of spare parts and repair facilities. Batteries are available locally. Filters, spark plugs, tune-up kits, and fan belts should be brought to post. Taxis in Monrovia are yellow, and as all yellow vehicles are thus hailed by pedestrians, this color choice for personal cars should be avoided.

Local public transportation in Monrovia consists mostly of taxis and a few buses. Americans avoid both because of overcrowding, random schedules, and breakdowns. Their use is not recommended. Taxis are inexpensive, but these small cars are operated like buses; passengers enter and leave frequently, and numerous stops usually occur before an individual's destination is reached. The taxi drivers are often hazards on the roadways.

Local Transportation Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Liberia is a relatively small country. Fifteen river basins perpendicular to the coast make the maintenance of a coastal highway difficult. Years of neglect and a civil war have cut off the southeastern part of the country. All roads to the southeastern counties currently run to the interior, where river valleys are narrower, before turning back toward other coastal areas.

Taxis or buses from central "parking stations" serve the country from the capital along three major axes: Monrovia-Sierra Leone border; Monrovia-Ivory Coast border; Monrovia-Cestos River. Overcrowding and a high rate of accidents discourage most Americans from using this system.

Regional Transportation Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Roberts International Airport (RIA), reopened in December 1997. All flights originating and departing Monrovia are from RIA, which is located approximately 27 miles from the Embassy. One European carrier, SN Brussels Airline, provides direct service to Monrovia from Europe via Conakry 2 days a week. Many local travelers arrive in Monrovia via Abidjan. The small local carrier Weasua Air Transport offers reliable daily flights between Abidjan and Monrovia, but reservations and tickets must be obtained by Embassy Monrovia or Embassy Abidjan. Ghana Airways also serves Monrovia from Accra 5 days a week, but its service is unrealiable.


Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

All U.S. Government residences on or near the Embassy compound are served through the Embassy switchboard.

Telephone service throughout Monrovia is limited and unreliable. The Embassy does have IVG, so long distance calls may be placed by credit card and the charge will originate from Washington, D.C. When calling from the U.S., the direct-dial country code for Liberia is 231. The Embassy switchboard number is (231) 226-370 through 226-380. The Embassy fax number is (231) 226-148.

Internet Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

There are at least two commercial Internet service providers in Monrovia and a number of Internet cafes. A number of Internet-connected personal computers are available for employee use on the Embassy compound. Internet e-mail is also available through the Department of State system (via MS Exchange).

Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

The Liberian postal system, destroyed during the civil war, is largely nonfunctional. Embassy personnel ordinarily receive mail by State Department pouch. Outgoing pouch service from Monrovia is restricted to letter-size mail, legal-size flats and small packages not exceeding the size of a videocassette. One exception is merchandise received via pouch which may be returned to sender if it is the wrong size, item, etc. Incoming package mail may not exceed 24 inches maximum length or 62 inches length and girth combined. Weight of packages may not exceed 40 pounds. Liquid and aerosol items are strictly prohibited. Commercial package service is available from DHL but is extremely expensive: $70 for the first half kilogram and $17 per half kilogram thereafter. Pouch mail leaves post once a week, and generally takes 5 days to reach its destination. Incoming mail by pouch is still erratic and can take up to 2 months.

Mail should be addressed in the following manner:

Name 8800 Monrovia Place U.S. Department of State Washington, D.C. 20521-8800

Radio and TV Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

The best-developed electronic medium in Liberia is radio, with five stations in Monrovia. The Catholic station, Radio Veritas, has good local news programs along with other features and news commentaries. The Liberian Communications Network (LCN) is owned by President Charles Taylor. It broadcasts on FM (KISS-FM) from Monrovia and Short Wave (Radio Liberia) from central Liberia. LCN also has a television station. Ducor 101.1 is an independent broadcasting institution, which broadcasts on FM, and has a television station that currently operates erratically in the evening hours. Star Radio, run by the Swiss NGO Foundation Hirondelle, and funded by USAID, broadcasted news in English and various Liberian languages, 3 hours in the morning and 4 hours in the evening until it was forcibly closed by government security forces in March 2000. ELWA-FM broadcasts largely Christian (Protestant) programs.

Many Americans bring VCRs to post. The VHS format and the standard American system (NTSC), are popular, although multisystem TVs and VCRs are recommended, allowing the use of any tape no matter what system it was recorded on, as long as the cassette format (VHS) fits the machine. Residences receive the following channels via satellite: TV5 (Paris), CNN-International, Saudi II, local television, the Embassy movie channel and three AFRTS channels. The CTNA service, which is a part of USRA, charges a monthly fee of $15 for the cable line. Multisystem televisions and VCRs in limited quantities are available for rent from USRA.

Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Largely as a result of national elections and the candidates' desire to influence public opinion, the press grew from six newspapers, in January 1997, to 15 by July. Eight of these papers were independent. By late 1998, only 10 newspapers publish regularly, six of which are considered independent and capable of serious, critical reporting.

The international editions of Time and Newsweek are available a few days after publication in the grocery stores, but at a high cost; African magazines appear sporadically.

The small Public Affairs Information Resource Center (IRC), across from the Embassy on Mamba Point, subscribes to the International Herald Tribune, and a range of U.S. technical, literary, and foreign affairs magazines. None of its books and periodicals may be removed from the library. The IRC's small collection focuses on books concerning U.S. history and American life.

Selection in bookstores in Monrovia is poor. Book club and periodical subscriptions, therefore, should be continued.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

The Embassy Health Unit serves all participants in the Department of State medical program. Non-direct hire personnel and their adult dependents must meet certain requirements to qualify for limited Health Unit privileges. The Health Unit is staffed with a full-time American Primary Care Health Practitioner, a full-time Liberian nurse, and a part-time laboratory technician. The unit also has access to the services of a regional psychiatrist and physician, presently assigned in Abidjan.

The Health Unit is equipped with a laboratory, an EKG machine, and an emergency oxygen supply, providing routine medical and minor surgical care. Major medical and surgical cases are evacuated, either to Abidjan or London.

Dental services are not readily available in Monrovia. All Embassy employees are urged to take care of any dental or ophthalmic work in the U.S. before arriving at post and to bring extra contact lenses and eyeglasses.

The post is hazardous for those requiring continuous monitoring or medical supervision, special medications, or those with recurring or easily aggravated illnesses.

Community Health Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Community health and sanitation services in Monrovia are basically non-existent. Garbage collection is infrequent, but a contractor regularly collects garbage from the Embassy compound and the Greystone residential compound. For most of Monrovia there is no piped drinking water. Embassy personnel drink distilled water. Embassy housing comes with distiller/filter units in place.

Food inspection is inadequate. Locally butchered meat must be thoroughly cooked. Fruits and vegetables should be soaked in a suitable disinfecting preparation.

Preventive Measures Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Due to the heat and humidity, a greater number of illnesses prevail in the Tropics than in temperate climates. Awareness and sensible precautions will greatly reduce the following local health risks:

Chloroquine-resistant malaria is endemic to Liberia, so prophylaxis should begin 2 weeks before arrival and be taken regularly throughout the tour of duty. Diarrhea and general fatigue are the most common ailments reported by Americans. Boiling all drinking water for 10 minutes and filtering it, and allowing a suitable amount of time to adjust to the climate and highly seasoned local foods, should keep incidences of these ailments to a minimum. Schistosomiasis is endemic in the interior, so fresh water sources should be avoided when traveling up-country. Filariasis and viral hepatitis are also present in Liberia. Locally butchered meat and vegetables bought on the street should be thoroughly cleaned and well cooked. Vaccinations, including yellow fever, typhoid, and tetanus should be kept current. Hepatitis A and B vaccinations are recommended, as are antirabies injections. AIDS is a risk in Liberia. Taking part in sports and recreational activities will help to reduce stress and help to keep you in shape (see Sports).

Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Embassy Monrovia is currently an unaccompanied post.

American Embassy - Monrovia

Post City Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Monrovia is situated on a long narrow cape, with one side facing a vast expanse of mangrove swamps drained by the Mesurado River and the other facing the Atlantic Ocean.

Founded in 1822 with the arrival of the first settlers, many localities are still identified by the names of original villages, settler communities, and the ethnic districts that grew up around them, all becoming incorporated into the city of Monrovia as it expanded. Originally named Christopolis, it was renamed after one of the settlement's most prominent sponsors, U.S. President James Monroe.

Downtown Monrovia occupies the tip of Cape Mesurado, rising to the hill of Mamba Point, where the U.S. Embassy compound is located. The narrow body of the Cape is taken up by the mostly residential Sinkor area. Beyond Sinkor, a number of suburbs extend toward the base of the Cape, and along fingers of land jutting out into the mangroves. Between the downtown and Sinkor areas is Capitol Hill, where the Executive Mansion, City Hall, and the University of Liberia campus are located. The capital was severely damaged in fighting, which broke out in Monrovia in April/May 1996; to date, only some office, government and residential buildings have been rebuilt.

Two bridges cross the Mesurado River from the downtown area to Bushrod Island, the industrial section of the city with the Freeport of Monrovia. There are many damaged, overcrowded buildings. Another bridge at the western end of Bushrod Island crosses the wide St. Paul River.

Monrovia's population, estimated at 350,000 in 1989, is now estimated at 750,000. People displaced by the civil war account for the influx into the Monrovia area and exert great stresses on the city's health, sanitation, and transport services. There had been no electricity in the capital since the war began; repairs to the system are costly and slow in coming. Some isolated areas are now being provided electricity.

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

The 18-acre Embassy compound on Mamba Point encloses the Chancery, the Marine Security Guard residence, and other residences. There are three other residential areas, the largest of which is a 19-acre walled compound a block from the Chancery called Greystone. All U.S. Government agencies represented in Liberia are supported by the Embassy's Administrative Section.

All offices and homes may be reached through the Embassy switchboard, at: 226-370, by requesting the appropriate office, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. A Marine Security Guard is on duty 24 hours daily and is able to connect emergency calls and communicate with the Embassy's Duty Officer.

The telephone number of the U.S. Defense Attaché to Liberia is 226-370 at the Embassy Chancery.

The Public Affairs Office (PAO) has its offices across from the Chancery compound. The PAO facility includes a small Information Resource Center (IRC) and a 50-seat auditorium, and can be reached through Embassy extension 1390. The section is headed by a public affairs officer.

The U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, headed by a Mission Director, administers U.S. relief and development assistance programs. Telephone number for USAID is (231) 226-370, fax number is (231) 226-152.

The Community Liaison Office (CLO) has been vacated, as this is an unaccompanied post.


Permanent Housing Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Every effort is made to place newly arrived personnel into permanent government housing upon arrival. When that is not possible, temporary quarters are made available. TDY personnel and official U.S. Government visitors are provided with temporary quarters. Due to the security situation, TDY personnel are not permitted to stay in hotels.

U.S. Government personnel are provided with government-owned or -leased housing. Assignments are made by the Mission's Interagency Housing Board for all Embassy employees.

In addition to the Ambassador's residence, the Embassy compound has houses for seven officers and two apartment buildings. The Marine House is also located here. The compound contains a recreation hall, snack bar, swimming pool, commissary, two tennis courts, and an outdoor basketball half-court.

The Embassy rents a building directly across from the main compound with 14 apartments. Most are three-bedroom units; however, two are four-bedroom units. The Greystone compound, crowning Mamba Point, was originally built by Harvey Firestone and is now leased by the U.S. Government. There are seven houses and a tennis court on this compound.

Furnishings Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

All residences are provided with living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture, as well as a kitchen set and, except for microwave ovens, all major appliances (washer, dryer, refrigerator, freezer, oven/stove, water purifier, dehumidifiers and air-conditioners). Primarily Drexel and Ethan Allen furnishings are used. Living and dining rooms generally have full-sized rugs although some units have wall-to-wall carpeting. Either draperies or vertical blinds are furnished in all main rooms. USAID furnishings and allowances are provided under separate policies and procedures.

Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

With the exception of the Ambassador's residences and the DCM's home, kitchen utensils, china, glassware, and linens are not provided, nor are microwave ovens, mixers, toasters and other kitchen equipment.

Upon arrival, everyone is provided with a Welcome Kit for use until airfreight arrives. The kit contains dishes, pots, pans, etc. Airfreight generally takes about 1 month to 6 weeks to reach post. It should include an initial supply of basic necessities to last the 4 or 5 months it will normally take for sea freight to arrive. Most household supplies are expensive in Monrovia, so the full weight allowance plus the consumable allowance should be used to ship as many supplies and replacement articles as possible. Paper products, plastic wrap, and cleaning supplies are particularly expensive, even when available from the commissary.

Coolers and other beach and picnic equipment are useful. Bring an iron and ironing board, a vacuum cleaner, or rug sweeper. Favorite sports equipment, books, card table and chairs, gender-and-age-neutral simple presents, and gift-wrap should also be brought to post.

All standard stateside appliances can be used on the available current, which is 110 volts at 60 cycles. Heavy-duty outlets for air-conditioners, dryers, and stoves are 220 volts. Spike arrestors and voltage regulators should be brought to protect VCRs, stereo equipment, etc. It is a good idea to bring a small battery-powered quartz clock.

Food Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

There are several reasonably well-stocked supermarkets in Monrovia, with items generally priced well above those in the U.S. Butter, milk (long-life or powdered), canned cream, and cheeses are practically always available. Sour cream, however, is not available, and can be brought along as dry mix. Danish meat products are available along with locally produced pork, and chicken. Fruits and vegetables are seasonal: papaya, mango, oranges, pineapple, eggplant, cucumbers, avocados, grapefruit, plantains, bananas, potato greens, cassava leaves. Onions, garlic, and potatoes are imported.

Local chickens are tougher and not as plump as the American variety. Eggs are readily available. A variety of fresh seafood, including grouper, snapper, barracuda, shrimp, and lobsters are available seasonally.

The U.S. Recreation Association operates a full service commissary. It carries a full range of American products, including frozen foods, meat, snacks, beverages, and household and toiletry items. Because items are imported from the U.S., they are not inexpensive. Take full advantage of air- and seafreight allowances, to include particular items or brands you prefer. U.S. Government employees can ship consumable goods through U.S.-based catalog houses.

The Recreation Hall has a good snackbar, serving a variety of items for breakfast, luncheon and supper, and is particularly popular during lunch hours.

Clothing Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Lightweight wash-and-wear cotton blends are best suited to the year-round high temperatures and humidity. Although synthetic fabrics wash easily and pack well, some people find polyester and lightweight knits uncomfortable. Constant use and frequent laundering dictate that an adequate supply of clothing be brought to post. Many Americans supplement initial wardrobes with U.S. store and catalog purchases. It is helpful to establish credit card accounts with clothing and household stores before departing the U.S. Ordered items may take 6-8 weeks to arrive. Some winter clothing should be brought along in case of transfer, R&R, or unexpected travel to colder climates. Sweaters or jackets may be appropriate in air-conditioned rooms or offices.

Local stores offer a limited supply of low quality and plain clothing at high prices. Many Embassy personnel take advantage of the large number of fabric shops in town and tailors to have clothes made. Patterned cotton ("lappa") cloth, tie-dyed material, and reasonably priced imported material are available. Tailors make loose fitting dresses in local styles, and can copy most catalog styles or favorite garments. Styles are not influenced by the latest fashions to the degree that they are in Europe or the U.S. The dress code is relaxed.

Moisture and dust shorten the life of shoes, and local repair is mediocre, so bring enough footwear to last through a tour. Swimsuits and beachwear are difficult to find. At least two swimsuits should be brought as well as a sun hat, and polarized sunglasses (suitable for daily wear) for the very bright dry season days, and for the beach.

The rainy season is a fact of life and adequate preparation will make it much more bearable. Large size "golfer" type umbrellas are recommended for each member of the family. Although raincoats are not often worn due to the heat, one should be kept handy. Light Gortex outerwear that repels water, yet breathes, is worth the extra expense for the added comfort. Rubberized rain shoes are helpful for casual wear and are a necessity for trips upcountry.

For those who sew, bring along patterns, trim, elastic, zippers, and thread. Sewing machine needles, belts and bulbs may also be difficult to replace here.

Men Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Clothing and accessories suitable for summer in Washington, D.C., are acceptable and practical in Monrovia. Wardrobes should include several wash-and-wear suits, a good supply of shirts that may be worn with or without tie, sport shirts, and slacks. A tuxedo is not required at any time unless one desires to wear it for the annual Marine Ball.

Women Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Wardrobes should consist mostly of washable fabrics. A good supply of cotton blend lingerie should be included. Casual clothes are popular for sports and leisure, but shorts and halter-tops should never be worn on the streets.

Most women find that locally made African dresses add attractively to their wardrobes. Local tailors are good and relatively inexpensive. A long, formal dress may be also useful.

Office Attire Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Shirts and tropical-style collarless short-sleeved suits are made well and are popular as office wear. In the office, suits are generally worn by those with diplomatic responsibilities. Dark suits are suitable for diplomatic functions, while dress for parties is usually casual.

Women usually find slacks, dresses, blouses, and skirts appropriate for most activities. Since all Mission offices are air-conditioned, many women find stockings and a light sweater comfortable to wear at work.

Supplies and Services

Supplies Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

A do-it-yourself kit with household tools, nails, extension cords, glues, epoxies, and tapes is useful. An artificial Christmas tree and other holiday decorations may also be brought along.

Household appliances like blenders, microwave ovens, and coffeemakers should be brought if used at home. The Embassy does have a limited supply of microwaves and coffee pots.

Basic Services Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Drycleaning services are available but expensive; shoe repair is poor. There are only a few beauty shops in town. Haircuts run from $8-$25 for men and women.

Automobile and electrical repairs are of uneven quality; advice should be sought from persons with experience in these matters as to availability and quality of service.

Domestic Help Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Households in Liberia traditionally employ domestic help of some kind. Most Americans in Monrovia hire domestic workers; the number and type depend on individual preference and requirements. Most Mission personnel hire housekeepers, at least on a part-time basis. Others also hire cooks. Senior officers with representational responsibilities may re-quire a cook and/or steward. Extra help hired for an evening dinner party or reception are paid $7-$10 plus transportation.

Wages for good full-time cooks average $30-$40 a week, and for stewards (or housekeepers) the same rate applies for a 50-hour workweek. Domestics require supervision to ensure personal cleanliness and suitable performance. Many are not literate.

Religious Activities Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Assembly of God, Baha'i, Baptist, Christian Science, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and Seventh-day Adventist services are held in Monrovia. There are four Mosques for the city's Islamic population. Jewish laymen occasionally hold services in their homes.


Dependent Education

At Post Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM Dependents are not permitted at post, and no adequate schools are available. A small international school has opened in Monrovia in recent years, but does not meet adequate standards for any but the lowest elementary grades.

Away From Post Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM Most employees with school-aged dependents have their families on separate maintenance allowances in the U.S. attending local schools. Check with your employment agency regarding the conditions and allowances for the education and travel of secondary schoolchildren.

Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

None available at post or in Monrovia, although Internet correspondence is possible.

Recreation and Social Life

Sports Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

The national sport in Liberia is soccer, the leading teams having large and enthusiastic followings. Matches are played either at the Antoinett Tubman Stadium in Monrovia, or at the sports complex about 5 miles beyond the Sinkor area. Soccer enthusiasts have praised the performance of West Africa teams. Basketball is a growing sport, and a national team has been formed.

In the aftermath of the civil war, there are limited opportunities for participation in sporting activities in Liberia. The Hotel Africa offers a large swimming pool, a private beach with a restaurant and a lagoon. The UN complex has a tennis court, swimming pool and restaurant. The Embassy compound and its residential area have swimming pools and tennis courts. In addition, the Embassy compound has a basketball half-court and a volleyball sand court. There is a small but well-equipped gymnasium in the Chancery. There is a privately owned squash court and a small gymnasium, which offers aerobics classes, both in the Sinkor area.

Golf is popular among expatriates. There are two functional courses: at Firestone in Harbel, Margibi County, 45 minutes' drive from the Embassy and a par-3 course at the Mobil Compound on the outskirts of Monrovia.

All sports equipment should be brought to post.

Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Outdoor activities are still restricted in Liberia. Water sports are the most accessible. A number of beautiful local beaches have their own distinct attractions, depending upon the mixture of those who frequent them, the facilities, and relative isolation. One beach may have a popular restaurant and bar, another may have nothing but isolated beaches and beautiful lagoons. Care must be exercised when swimming because of strong currents and undertow. Snorkeling and spear fishing are practicable, but you must bring your own equipment. A small number of boats owned by the Embassy and Marines or members of the expatriate communities are used for deep-sea, surf, and river fishing.

In contrast to the areas around Monrovia, Liberia's interior offers a vastly different and rich experience. Liberia has the largest remaining areas of intact tropical rain forests in West Africa, with an incredible diversity of birds, plants, and wildlife. Over 500 species of birds are found in Sapo National Park in the Southeast. Elephants, leopards, chimpanzees, and pygmy hippos still live in the largely inaccessible interior regions. Trips outside Monrovia require careful planning, as there are few hotels or restaurants upcountry and road conditions can be poor. Trips outside the greater Monrovia area must be coordinated with the Regional Security Office.

Gardening (there are many local species of orchids) and birdwatching are enjoyed near Monrovia.

A number of Embassy employees make a point of visiting other parts of Africa while serving in Monrovia. The Sahel zone of Africa to the north holds the escarpment dwellings of Mali, while along the coast of West Africa are the European-influenced cities of Banjul, Dakar, and Abidjan. South Africa, Morocco, and the Canary Islands are also popular destinations for those seeking a change of scenery and culture. At the current time airline connections are time-consuming and expensive, however.

Entertainment Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Monrovia has a number of restaurants in various price ranges offering European, Oriental, Lebanese and traditional Liberian cuisine. Prices are generally higher than those in major U.S. cities. There are a number of nightclubs in town frequented by expatriates. The Embassy Recreation Association hosts a monthly dinner buffet and a monthly Sunday brunch. The Marine Security Guard detachment shows recently run movies on a regular basis.

Social Activities

Among Americans Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM The home is the center of evening activities: barbecues, parties, and televised sports events. Beach picnics are popular during the dry season.

The Embassy Recreation Hall periodically features dart matches and other activities.

International Contacts Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM There are few foreign embassies in Monrovia, but a large number of humanitarian and UN organizations, which host parties from time to time.

Paris is the authorized R&R point, with New York as the alternate.

Official Functions

Nature of Functions Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Mission personnel are often included in official representation functions, especially senior officers. Functions include National Days, receptions for visiting officials, dedications, and religious services. Some of these occasions require a dark business suit for men and suitable attire (not a pants suit) for women. Most functions within the Mission are less formal.

The Embassy includes a memorandum on protocol in the information package presented to new arrivals. Business cards are very commonly exchanged and are helpful in establishing contacts. A greeting precedes all conversation in all circumstances, even in asking directions from strangers, or upon entering a taxicab. This is usually followed by the finger-snapping handshake unique to Liberia.

Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

All newly arrived Mission officers and staff members will meet with the Ambassador and DCM shortly after arrival. No other formal calls on other Mission officers are expected. Calls on counterparts in other embassies and with host government officials can be discussed after arrival at post. Guidelines on local customs and employee responsibilities are provided to newcomers in their Welcome Kits.

A supply of business cards and informals is useful. Business cards and invitations can be produced locally, but engraving is not done.

Special Information Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Personnel assigned to DAO/Liberia will receive uniform requirements prior to departure for Liberia. Only diplomatically accredited officers (Defense, Army, and Air Attach‚s) routinely require a full set of uniforms. Occasionally, enlisted personnel require service dress uniforms and utility/dungaree uniforms with safety-toe shoes. Uniforms in the Defense Attach‚ Office are optional. A mess dress formal uniform is required for the Marine Ball. For Army personnel, dress whites and white mess dress are mandatory.

Joint security forces operate checkpoints on many main roads in Liberia. Embassy I.D.s should be presented when crossing checkpoints if required, and occupants should comply with all reasonable requests. Ordinarily, however, vehicles with diplomatic plates are not subject to being stopped.

Liberians can be sensitive about picture taking, and permission should be requested before snapping any photos. Government and military buildings and personnel should not be photographed.

Generally speaking, Liberians are very friendly and open people. Patience, courtesy and a sense of humor are necessary traits, however. In Monrovia, firmness and courtesy will usually suffice in placating insistent merchants, marketers and beggars.

Post Orientation Program

Newcomers are met on arrival in Monrovia. Each agency assists its new arrivals to settle in and to meet the official community. All newcomers should check in with the Personnel Office within a few days of their arrival. The Embassy Personnel Office provides a newcomers' information packet and a detailed check-in sheet and forms for processing into post.

The Family Liaison Office (FLO) in the Department of State is an excellent contact for employees before departure for Monrovia. The FLO offers information and referral services on all aspects of Foreign Service living.

The Overseas Briefing Center has an information package on Monrovia, as well as a video presentation, recent slides, and other materials. Employees assigned to Monrovia are encouraged to study these materials.

Notes For Travelers

Getting to the Post Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Official travel to Monrovia is either via Brussels (SN Brussels Airlines, twice a week) or via Abidjan. There is also limited service from Accra, Ghana and Freetown, and Sierra Leone, but they are not recommended. Travelers coming to post via Abidjan normally arrive there on KLM or Air France. Travel to Monrovia from Abidjan is with small local carrier Weasua Air Transport, which offers daily service. Reservations and tickets for Weasua must be obtained by Embassy Monrovia or Embassy Freetown.

The post should be advised by telegram well in advance of travel with fiscal data so that a ticket can be purchased for Weasua by the Embassy and sent to Embassy Abidjan. Embassy Abidjan will arrange for an expediter to meet incoming passengers. Embassy Monrovia expediter will meet incoming passengers upon arrival at Monrovia's Roberts International Airport.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Customs and Duties Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Persons entering Liberia must have a valid passport or travel document and a valid visa. Airport visas are not available.

All personnel with diplomatic status and those covered by USAID and Military Assistance Agreements have duty-free entry privileges for household and personal effects, and for one car.

Other employees are covered by an arrangement for bulk imports in the Ambassador's name.

Airfreight should be steel banded, but there are no other special requirements for packing and shipping effects to Liberia. Airfreight should bear the following address:

American Ambassador (Name of employee) American Embassy, Monrovia, Liberia For First Available Onward Flight

Passage Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Regardless of type of passport, all Americans must have visas to enter Liberia. This requirement cannot be overemphasized. Both official and nonofficial persons risk detention if they arrive without identification.

The Embassy Personnel Office will obtain exit permits for U.S. Mission personnel. The Department of State Passport Office, in Washington, D.C., and the USAID Personnel Office will help personnel in the U.S. to obtain Liberian and other visas. U.S. missions abroad will attempt to provide the same assistance. Visas are not required for Cöte d'lvoire, but are required for Guinea and Sierra Leone.

All personnel entering Monrovia must have a current shot record with valid proof of a yellow fever inoculation.

You will need photographs of yourself immediately on arrival and during your tour. Bring at least 24 passport photos for each person.

Pets Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Pets must be fully immunized before travel and accompanied by a veterinarian's certificate of good health. The certificate must contain the date of rabies inoculation, given not more than 120 days or less than 10 days before anticipated arrival at post. The origin of the certificate, name and address, including country of the veterinarian, must be plainly identifiable. The certificate must be authenticated by the Department of Agriculture and then approved by the Liberian Embassy for a fee and stamped with the Liberian Government seal. If the pet is being imported from a country that does not have a Liberian Embassy and the seal cannot be obtained, advise the post. Employees should bring all drugs their pet might need, including heartworm tablets, flea control, as well as other supplies such as pet shampoo as these are not available in Liberia. Veterinary service is also extremely limited.

The post should be informed in advance if you are bringing a pet. All papers should travel with the pet. Failure to comply with these instructions may require the pet to be quarantined in Liberia.

Some areas of Monrovia are infested with tsetse fly, and dogs in these areas are subject to contracting canine sleeping sickness. There is no risk to humans. Although this illness in dogs is readily treatable by a veterinarian, there are recurrences, and some animals have died.

Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Importation of individual firearms is prohibited.

Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Liberia currently uses two currencies. The U.S. dollar is used in Monrovia and along the major trade routes: Monrovia/Sierra Leone border; Monrovia-Rivercess; Monrovia-Cöte d'lvoire border. Liberia also uses the Liberian dollar. The exchange rate has fluctuated over the past year at between 45 and 65 Liberian dollars per U.S. dollar (July 2002).

Personnel coming to Monrovia are advised to maintain checking accounts in U.S. banks. The Embassy cashier will honor U.S. Treasury checks in any amount, and personal checks between the amounts of $50 and $500, from permanently assigned and temporary duty official American personnel. No third-party checks are accepted.

U.S. weights and measures are used in Liberia.

Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM


All official American personnel are exempted from Liberian income tax. All personnel are currently subject to the $25 airport departure tax and a $15 airport development fee.

The Embassy exercises strict control over the sale of duty-free personal property to those without such privileges. Those who sell cars or other property to persons without duty-free privileges must receive a copy of a document from the Government of Liberia Customs Bureau indicating that import duty has been paid before the purchaser may take possession.


Personnel assigned to the Mission and official visiting personnel may cash personal checks for U.S. dollars at the Embassy cashier. Credit cards are not accepted anywhere in Liberia, and virtually all local transactions are in cash, either U.S. or Liberian dollars.

Recommended Reading Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

These titles are provided as a general indication of the material published in this country. The Department of State does not endorse unofficial publications.

History Berkeley, Bill. Liberia: A Promise Betrayed. Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (New York, 1986).

Boahen, A. and J. B. Webster. Africa: The Revolutionary Years.

Dunn, Elwood. Liberia, World Bibliographical Series, Volume 157. (ABL-CLIO Press: Oxford, 1995).

Dunn, Elwood and Holsoe, Svend. The Historical Dictionary of Liberia. (1998 edition).

Dunn, D. and S. Byron Tarr. Liberia: A National Polity in Transition. (Scarecrow Press: Metuchen, NJ, 1988).

Ellis, Stephen. The Mask of Anarchy. (New York University Press, Washington Square, New York, 1999).

Fage, J.M.A. Introduction to the History of West Africa. (Cambridge University Press: London, 1964).

Hopkins, H. E. An Economic History of West Africa. (Cambridge University Press: New York, 1973).

Liebenow, J. Gus. Liberia: The Evolution of Privilege. (Cornell University Press: Ithaca, New York, 1969).

Liebenow, J. Gus. Liberia: The Quest for Democracy. (Indiana University Press: Bloomington, IN, 1987).

Moore, Bai T. Murder in the Cassava Patch.

Nelson, Harold D., ed. Liberia, A Country Study. (American University: Foreign Area Studies Program, Washington, D.C., 1984).

Ruiz, Hiram A. Liberians: Casualties of a Brutal War. (United States Commission for Refugees, Washington, D.C., 1992)

Sawyer, Amos. The Emergence of Autocracy in Liberia. (Institute of Contemporary Issues Press: 1992).

Sullivan, Dr. Joe and Dr. Jane Martin, ed. Africa (Global Study Series). (Dushkin Publishers: Guilford, Conn., 1986).

Tolbert, Victoria. Lifted Up: The Victoria Tolbert Story. (Macalaster Park Publishing Co., Inc., Minneapolis, Minn., 1996).

For publications between 1994 and the present, you may refer to the semiannual Liberian Studies Journal, continuously published since 1969, and available from the Liberian Studies Association by writing to Thomas Hendricks, 815 South Wisconsin Avenue, Oak Park, Illinois, 60304.

Culture Gay, John. Red Dust on the Green Leaves. (Intercultural Press: Thompson, Connecticut 1973).

Gay, John. The Brightening Shadow. (Intercultural Press: Chicago, 1980)

Greene, Graham. Journey Without Maps. (William Heinemann: London, 1936).

Moran, Mary. Civilized Women: Gender and Prestige in Southeastern Liberia. (Cornell University Press, 1990).

Sankawulo, Wilton. The Rain and the Night. (Macmillan Publishers: London, 1979).

Schwab, G. and Harley, G.W. Tribes of the Liberian Hinterland, Vol. XXXI. (The Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology, Harvard University: Cambridge, Mass. 1947).

Warner, Esther. Seven Days to Loma Land. (Pyramid Books: New York, 10022).

Warner, Esther. The Crossing Fee — A Story of Life in Liberia. (Victor Gollancz Ltd.: London, 1968).

Art Harley, G.W. Masks as Agents of Social Control in Northeast Liberia, Vol. XXXII, No.2, Papers of The Peabody Museum. (Harvard University: Cambridge, Mass., 1950).

Siegman, William. Rock of the Ancestors. (Cuttington University: Suakoko, Liberia, 1977).

Willett, Frank. African Art.

Natural History Myers, Norman. The Primary Source. (Norton Press: New York, 1985).

Richards, P.W. The Tropical Rainforest. (Cambridge University Press: London, 1987).

Schulze, Wilhe. A New Geography of Liberia. (Longman Group: London, 1973).

West African Nature Handbooks Series. (Longman Publishers: London).

Web Sites The following Web sites are generally useful for news items and articles recently published about Liberia: http//

Local Holidays Last Updated: 7/31/2002 6:00 PM

Liberia celebrates the following official holidays:

New Year's Day January 1 Armed Forces Day February 11 Decoration Day Second Wednesday in March J.J. Robert's Birthday March 14 Day of Fasting and Prayer Second Friday in April Unification Day May 15 Independence Day July 26 Flag Day August 24 Thanksgiving Day November 5 W.V.S.Tubman's Birthday November 29 Christmas Day December 25

Adapted from material published by the U.S. Department of State. While some of the information is specific to U.S. missions abroad, the post report provides a good overview of general living conditions in the host country for diplomats from all nations.
Share |