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The 1997 CIA World Factbook

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Geographic coordinates: 18 00 N, 105 00 E

Map references: Southeast Asia

Area:
total: 236,800 sq km
land : 230,800 sq km
water: 6,000 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly larger than Utah

Land boundaries:
total: 5,083 km
border countries : Burma 235 km, Cambodia 541 km, China 423 km,
Thailand 1,754 km, Vietnam 2,130 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: tropical monsoon; rainy season (May to November); dry season
(December to April)

Terrain: mostly rugged mountains; some plains and plateaus

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Mekong River 70 m
highest point: Phou Bia 2,817 m

Natural resources: timber, hydropower, gypsum, tin, gold, gemstones

Land use:
arable land : 3%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 3%
forests and woodland: 54%
other : 40% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 1,250 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: floods, droughts, and blight

Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; a majority
of the population does not have access to potable water

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental
Modification, Nuclear Test Ban
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - note: landlocked

@Laos:People

Population: 5,116,959 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 45% (male 1,174,029; female 1,144,634)
15-64 years: 52% (male 1,277,175; female 1,354,220)
65 years and over: 3% (male 76,544; female 90,357) (July 1997 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.78% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 41.25 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 13.4 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over : 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 94.3 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population : 53.19 years
male: 51.63 years
female: 54.83 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.76 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Lao(s) or Laotian(s)
adjective: Lao or Laotian

Ethnic groups: Lao Loum (lowland) 68%, Lao Theung (upland) 22%, Lao
Soung (highland) including the Hmong ("Meo") and the Yao (Mien) 9%,
ethnic Vietnamese/Chinese 1%

Religions: Buddhist 60%, animist and other 40%

Languages: Lao (official), French, English, and various ethnic
languages

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 56.6%
male: 69.4%
female : 44.4% (1995 est.)

@Laos:Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Lao People's Democratic Republic
conventional short form: Laos
local long form : Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao
local short form: none

Data code: LA

Government type: Communist state

National capital: Vientiane

Administrative divisions: 16 provinces (khoueng, singular and plural),
1 municipality* (kampheng nakhon, singular and plural), and 1 special
zone** (khetphiset, singular and plural); Attapu, Bokeo, Bolikhamxai,
Champasak, Houaphan, Khammouan, Louangnamtha, Louangphabang, Oudomxai,
Phongsali, Salavan, Savannakhet, Viangchan*, Viangchan, Xaignabouli,
Xaisomboun**, Xekong, Xiangkhoang

Independence: 19 July 1949 (from France)

National holiday: National Day, 2 December (1975) (proclamation of the
Lao People's Democratic Republic)

Constitution: promulgated 14 August 1991

Legal system: based on traditional customs, French legal norms and
procedures, and Socialist practice

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state : President NOUHAK PHOUMSAVAN (appointed 25 November
1992 by the Supreme People's Assembly to succeed KAYSONE PHOMVIHAN who
died in office; elected by the new National Assembly 22 February
1993); Vice President SISAVAT KEOBOUNPHAN (since 20 April 1996 when
the position of vice president was first created)
head of government : Prime Minister Gen. KHAMTAI SIPHANDON (since 15
August 1991); Deputy Prime Ministers KHAMPHOUI KEOBOUALAPHA (since 15
August 1991) and BOUNGNANG VOLACHIT (since 20 April 1996)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president, approved by
the National Assembly
elections : president elected by the National Assembly for a five-year
term; election last held 22 February 1993 (next to be held NA 1998);
prime minister appointed by the president with the approval of the
National Assembly for a five-year term
election results: NOUHAK PHOUMSAVAN elected president; percent of
National Assembly vote - NA

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (85 seats; members
elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 20 December 1992 (next to be held NA 1997)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LPRP
or LPRP-approved (independent, non-party members) 85; note - the
distribution of seats as of January 1997 is as follows - LPRP 78,
independents 5, vacant 2

Judicial branch: People's Supreme Court, the president of the People's
Supreme Court is elected by the National Assembly on the
recommendation of the National Assembly Standing Committee, the vice
president of the People's Supreme Court and the judges are appointed
by the National Assembly Standing Committee

Political parties and leaders: Lao People's Revolutionary Party
(LPRP), KHAMTAI Siphandon, party president; other parties proscribed

Political pressure groups and leaders: noncommunist political groups
proscribed; most opposition leaders fled the country in 1975

International organization participation: ACCT, AsDB, ASEAN
(observer), CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC,
IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU,
Mekong Group, NAM, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO,
WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador HIEM PHOMMACHANH
chancery: 2222 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-6416
FAX : [1] (202) 332-4923

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Wendy Jean CHAMBERLIN
embassy: Rue Bartholonie, B.P. 114, Vientiane
mailing address: American Embassy, Box V, APO AP 96546
telephone: [856] (21) 212581, 212582, 212585
FAX: [856] (21) 212584

Flag description: three horizontal bands of red (top), blue (double
width), and red with a large white disk centered in the blue band

Economy

Economy - overview: The government of Laos - one of the few remaining
official communist states - has been decentralizing control and
encouraging private enterprise since 1986. The results, starting from
an extremely low base, have been striking - growth has averaged 7.5%
annually since 1988. Even so, Laos is a landlocked country with a
primitive infrastructure. It has no railroads, a rudimentary road
system, and limited external and internal telecommunications.
Electricity is available in only a few urban areas. Subsistence
agriculture accounts for half of GDP and provides 80% of total
employment. The predominant crop is rice. In non-drought years, Laos
is self-sufficient overall in food, but each year flood, pests, and
localized drought cause shortages in various parts of the country. For
the foreseeable future the economy will continue to depend on aid from
the IMF and other international sources; aid from the former
USSR/Eastern Europe has been cut sharply. As in many developing
countries, deforestation and soil erosion will hamper efforts to
maintain the high rate of GDP growth.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $5.7 billion (1996 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 7.5% (1996 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,150 (1996 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 56%
industry: 19%
services: 25% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 15% (1996 est.)

Labor force: 1 million-1.5 million
by occupation: agriculture 80% (1992 est.)

Unemployment rate: 5.6% in urban areas (1994 est.)

Budget:
revenues : $218 million
expenditures: $379 million, including capital expenditures of $NA
(1996 est.)

Industries: tin and gypsum mining, timber, electric power,
agricultural processing, construction

Industrial production growth rate: 7.5% (1992 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 261,000 kW (1995)

Electricity - production: 890 million kWh (1994)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 48 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture - products: sweet potatoes, vegetables, corn, coffee,
sugarcane, cotton; water buffalo, pigs, cattle, poultry

Exports:
total value: $240 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: electricity, wood products, coffee, tin, garments
partners : Thailand, Japan, France, Germany, Netherlands

Imports:
total value: $570 million (c.i.f., 1996 est.)
commodities: food, fuel oil, consumer goods, manufactures
partners: Thailand, China, Japan, France, US

Debt - external: $2 billion (1995 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 new kip (NK) = 100 at

Exchange rates: new kips (NK) per US$1 - 961.00 (January 1997), 921.14
(1996), 804.69 (1995), 717.67 (1994), 716.25 (1993), 716.08 (1992)
note: as of September 1995, a floating exchange rate policy was
adopted

Fiscal year: 1 October - 30 September

@Laos:Communications

Telephones: 6,600 (1991 est.)

Telephone system: service to general public very poor; radiotelephone
communications network provides generally erratic service to
government users
domestic: radiotelephone communications
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean
Region)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 10, FM 0, shortwave 0

Radios: 560,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 2

Televisions: 32,000 (1993 est.)

@Laos:Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways:
total: 18,153 km
paved: 2,505 km
unpaved: 15,648 km (1995 est.)

Waterways: about 4,587 km, primarily Mekong and tributaries; 2,897
additional kilometers are sectionally navigable by craft drawing less
than 0.5 m

Pipelines: petroleum products 136 km

Ports and harbors: none

Merchant marine:
total: 1 cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,370 GRT/3,000 DWT
(1996 est.)

Airports: 39 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 25
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m : 3
under 914 m: 16 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total : 14
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 13 (1996 est.)

Military

Military branches: Lao People's Army (LPA; includes riverine naval and
militia elements), Air Force, National Police Department

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 1,123,934 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 606,542 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males : 54,712 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $105 million (FY92/93)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 8.1% (FY92/93)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: boundary dispute with Thailand

Illicit drugs: world's third largest opium producer (200 metric tons
from some 25,250 hectares in 1996); heroin producer; increasingly used
as transshipment point for heroin produced in Burma; illicit producer
of cannabis
______________________________________________________________________

LATVIA

@Latvia:Geography

Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Estonia
and Lithuania

Geographic coordinates: 57 00 N, 25 00 E

Map references: Europe

Area:
total: 64,100 sq km
land: 64,100 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly larger than West Virginia

Land boundaries:
total: 1,150 km
border countries : Belarus 141 km, Estonia 339 km, Lithuania 453 km,
Russia 217 km

Coastline: 531 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea : 12 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate: maritime; wet, moderate winters

Terrain: low plain

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point : Gaizinkalns 312 m

Natural resources: minimal; amber, peat, limestone, dolomite

Land use:
arable land: 27%
permanent crops : 0%
permanent pastures: 13%
forests and woodland: 46%
other: 14% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 160 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

Environment - current issues: air and water pollution because of a
lack of waste conversion equipment; Gulf of Riga and Daugava River
heavily polluted; contamination of soil and groundwater with chemicals
and petroleum products at military bases

Environment - international agreements:
party to : Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Hazardous
Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

@Latvia:People

Population: 2,421,163 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 19% (male 238,793; female 229,160)
15-64 years : 66% (male 762,635; female 836,839)
65 years and over: 15% (male 112,989; female 240,747) (July 1997 est.)

Population growth rate: -1.56% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 8.21 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 15.72 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: -8.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years : 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.47 male(s)/female
total population: 0.85 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 17.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 66.91 years
male: 60.8 years
female: 73.33 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.21 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Latvian(s)
adjective: Latvian

Ethnic groups: Latvian 51.8%, Russian 33.8%, Byelorussian 4.5%,
Ukrainian 3.4%, Polish 2.3%, other 4.2%

Religions: Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox

Languages: Lettish (official), Lithuanian, Russian, other

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population : 100%
male: 100%
female: 99% (1989 est.)

@Latvia:Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Latvia
conventional short form: Latvia
local long form: Latvijas Republika
local short form: Latvija
former : Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic

Data code: LG

Government type: republic

National capital: Riga

Administrative divisions: 26 counties (singular - rajons) and 7
municipalities*: Aizkraukles Rajons, Aluksnes Rajons, Balvu Rajons,
Bauskas Rajons, Cesu Rajons, Daugavpils*, Daugavpils Rajons, Dobeles
Rajons, Gulbenes Rajons, Jekabpils Rajons, Jelgava*, Jelgavas Rajons,
Jurmala*, Kraslavas Rajons, Kuldigas Rajons, Leipaja*, Liepajas
Rajons, Limbazu Rajons, Ludzas Rajons, Madonas Rajons, Ogres Rajons,
Preiju Rajons, Rezekne*, Rezeknes Rajons, Riga*, Rigas Rajons, Saldus
Rajons, Talsu Rajons, Tukuma Rajons, Valkas Rajons, Valmieras Rajons,
Ventspils*, Ventspils Rajons

Independence: 6 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day, 18 November (1918)

Constitution: the 1991 Constitutional Law which supplements the 1922
constitution, provides for basic rights and freedoms

Legal system: based on civil law system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Guntis ULMANIS (since 7 July 1993)
head of government: Prime Minister Andris SKELE (since 21 December
1995)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and
appointed by the Parliament
elections: president elected by Parliament for a four-year term;
election last held 7 July 1993 (next to be held by 20 June 1997);
prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Guntis ULMANIS elected president in the first round
of balloting; percent of parliamentary vote - 53%

Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Saeima (100 seats;
members are elected by direct popular vote to serve three-year terms)
elections : last held 30 September-1 October 1995 (next to be held NA
October 1998)
election results: percent of vote by party - Saimnieks 18%, LC 17%,
For Latvia 16%, TB 14%, LNNK 8%, Unity 8%, LSZ/LKDS 7%, Harmony 6%,
Socialist 6%; seats by party - Saimnieks 18, LC 17, For Latvia 16, TB
14, LNNK 8, Unity 8, LSZ/LKDS 7, Harmony 6, Socialist 6

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges' appointments are confirmed by
the Parliament

Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party "Saimnieks" or DPS
[Ziedonis CEVERS, chairman]; Latvia's Way or LC [Valdis BIRKAVS]; For
Latvia [Joachim SIEGERIST]; Fatherland and Freedom or TB [Maris
GRINBLATS]; Latvian Unity Party or LVP [A. KAULS]; Latvian National
Conservative Party or LNNK [Anna SEILE]; Green Party or LSZ [O.
BATAREVSK]; Latvian Farmers Union or LZS [A. ROZENTALS]; Christian
Democrat Union or LKDS [Maris VITOLDS]; National Harmony Party or TSP
[Janis JURKANS]; Latvian Socialist Party or LSP [F. STROGANOVS];
Latvian Liberal Party or LLP [J. DANOSS]; Political Association of the
Underprivileged or MPA [B. PELSE, V. DIMANTS, J. KALNINS]; Latvian
Democratic Labor Party or LDDP [J. BOJARS]; Party of Russian Citizens
or LKPP [V. SOROCHIN, V. IVANOV]; Peoples Front of Latvia or LTF
[Uldis AUGSTKALNS]; Political Union of Economists or TPA [E. KIDE];
Latvian National Democratic Party or LNDP [A. MALINS]; "Our Land" or
MZ [M. DAMBEKALNE]; Anticommunist Union or PA [P. MUCENIEKS]; Latvian
Social-Democratic Workers Party or LSDSP; Party for the Defense of
Latvia's Defrauded People; Latvian Independence Party or LNP [Valdis
KONOVALOVS]

International organization participation: BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, EBRD,
ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF,
IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO,
ITU, NACC, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WEU (associate
partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ojars Eriks KALNINS
chancery: 4325 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
telephone: [1] (202) 726-8213, 8214
FAX: [1] (202) 726-6785

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador Larry C. NAPPER
embassy: Raina Boulevard 7, LV-1510, Riga
mailing address: PSC 78, Box R, APO AE 09723
telephone: [371] (2) 210-005
FAX : [371] (2) 226-530

Flag description: three horizontal bands of maroon (top), white
(half-width), and maroon

Economy

Economy - overview: In the five years following the implosion of the
USSR in December 1991, the Latvian economy has made substantial
progress toward establishing a modern market economy and widening
economic ties with the West. Two major long-term concerns are the
growing trade deficit and the impact of organized crime. The economy
in 1996 has largely recovered from the mid-1995 collapse of several
commercial banks - including Latvia's large bank, Bank Baltija - and a
severe government budget crisis. Prime Minister SKELE has stated that
he expects the country's GDP to grow 5% in 1997 through the
implementation of the government's new economic reform program. In
December 1996, the government passed a balanced 1997 budget - its
first - that SKELE predicts will reduce inflation to 10% to 12% in
1997. Unemployment, which has held steady at about 6% over the past
two years, reached roughly 7.5% in 1996. One of SKELE's key objectives
for 1997 is to speed up the privatization program, which has lagged
behind other areas of reform.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $9.4 billion (1996 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2.5% (1996 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,800 (1996 estimate as
extrapolated from World Bank estimate for 1994)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 9%
industry : 34%
services: 57% (1994)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 13.2% (1996 est.)

Labor force:
total: 1.268 million (1995)
by occupation: industry 41%, agriculture and forestry 16%, services
43% (1990)

Unemployment rate: 7.5% (1996 official est.)

Budget:
revenues: $NA
expenditures : $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Industries: buses, vans, street and railroad cars, synthetic fibers,
agricultural machinery, fertilizers, washing machines, radios,
electronics, pharmaceuticals, processed foods, textiles; dependent on
imports for energy, raw materials, and intermediate products

Industrial production growth rate: 2% (1996 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 2.018 million kW (1993)

Electricity - production: 4.27 billion kWh (1994)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 2,197 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture - products: grain, sugar beets, potatoes, vegetables;
meat, milk, eggs; fish

Exports:
total value: $1.6 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: machinery and equipment, timber, textiles, foodstuffs
partners : Russia, other CIS, Germany, Sweden, UK

Imports:
total value: $2.4 billion (c.i.f., 1996)
commodities : fuels, machinery and equipment, chemicals
partners: Russia, other CIS, Germany, Sweden, UK, Finland

Debt - external: $NA

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $122 million (1993)
note: commitments from the West and international institutions, $525
million (1992-95)

Currency: 1 Latvian lat (LVL) = 100 santims; introduced NA March 1993

Exchange rates: lats (LVL) per US$1 - 0.563 (January 1997), 0.551
(1996), 0.528 (1995), 0.560 (1994), 0.675 (1993), 0.736 (1992)

Fiscal year: calendar year

@Latvia:Communications

Telephones: 660,000 (1993 est.)

Telephone system: service is better than in most of the other former
Soviet republics
domestic: an NMT-450 analog cellular telephone network covers 75% of
Latvia's population
international: international traffic carried by leased connection to
the Moscow international gateway switch, through the new Ericsson
digital telephone exchange in Riga, and through the Finnish cellular
net; Sprint data network carries electronic mail

Radio broadcast stations: 25 (unknown type)

Radios: 1.4 million (1993 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 30

Televisions: 1.1 million (1993 est.)

@Latvia:Transportation

Railways:
total: 2,412 km
broad gauge: 2,379 km 1.520-m gauge (271 km electrified) (1992)
narrow gauge: 33 km 0.750-m gauge (1994)

Highways:
total: 60,046 km
paved: 22,998 km
unpaved: 37,048 km (1995 est.)

Waterways: 300 km perennially navigable

Pipelines: crude oil 750 km; refined products 780 km; natural gas 560
km (1992)

Ports and harbors: Daugavpils, Liepaja, Riga, Ventspils

Merchant marine:
total: 51 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 491,582 GRT/639,414 DWT
ships by type: cargo 7, oil tanker 19, refrigerated cargo 18,
roll-on/roll-off cargo 7 (1996 est.)

Airports: 50 (1994 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 36
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 27 (1994 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 14
2,438 to 3,047 m : 2
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 10 (1994 est.)

Military

Military branches: Ground Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces,
Security Forces, Border Guard, Home Guard (Zemessardze)

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 575,121 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 450,640 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 16,323 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: 176 million rubles (1994); note
- conversion of defense expenditures into US dollars using the
prevailing exchange rate could produce misleading results

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 3% to 5% (1994)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: based on the 1920 Treaty of Riga, Latvia had
claimed the Abrene/Pytalovo section of border ceded by the Latvian
Soviet Socialist Republic to Russia in 1944; disputes maritime border
with Lithuania (primary concern is oil exploration rights)

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for opiates and cannabis from
Southwest Asia and cocaine from Latin America to Western Europe and
Scandinavia; produces illicit amphetamines for export
______________________________________________________________________

LEBANON

Introduction

Current issues: Lebanon has made progress toward rebuilding its
political institutions and regaining its national sovereignty since
the end of the devastating 16-year civil war, which began in 1975.
Under the Ta'if Accord - the blueprint for national reconciliation -
the Lebanese have established a more equitable political system,
particularly by giving Muslims a greater say in the political process.
Since the end of the civil war, the Lebanese have formed five cabinets
and conducted two legislative elections. Most of the militias have
been weakened or disbanded. The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) has seized
vast quantities of weapons used by the militias during the war and
extended central government authority over about one-half of the
country. Hizballah, the radical Shi'a party, retains most of its
weapons. Foreign forces still occupy areas of Lebanon. Israel
maintains troops in southern Lebanon and continues to support a proxy
militia, the Army of South Lebanon (ASL), along a narrow stretch of
territory contiguous to its border. The ASL's enclave encompasses this
self-declared security zone and about 20 kilometers north to the
strategic town of Jazzin. Syria maintains about 30,000 troops in
Lebanon. These troops are based mainly in Beirut, North Lebanon, and
the Bekaa Valley. Syria's deployment was legitimized by the Arab
League during Lebanon's civil war and in the Ta'if accord. Citing the
continued weakness of the LAF, Beirut's requests, and failure of the
Lebanese Government to implement all of the constitutional reforms in
the Ta'if accord, Damascus has so far refused to withdraw its troops
from Lebanon.

@Lebanon:Geography

Location: Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Israel
and Syria

Geographic coordinates: 33 50 N, 35 50 E

Map references: Middle East

Area:
total: 10,400 sq km
land: 10,230 sq km
water : 170 sq km

Area - comparative: about 0.7 times the size of Connecticut

Land boundaries:
total : 454 km
border countries: Israel 79 km, Syria 375 km

Coastline: 225 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea : 12 nm

Climate: Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry
summers; Lebanon mountains experience heavy winter snows

Terrain: narrow coastal plain; Al Biqa' (Bekaa Valley) separates
Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains

Elevation extremes:
lowest point : Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Jabal al Makmal 3,087 m

Natural resources: limestone, iron ore, salt, water-surplus state in a
water-deficit region

Land use:
arable land : 21%
permanent crops: 9%
permanent pastures: 1%
forests and woodland: 8%
other: 61% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 860 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: dust storms, sandstorms

Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil erosion;
desertification; air pollution in Beirut from vehicular traffic and
the burning of industrial wastes; pollution of coastal waters from raw
sewage and oil spills

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Hazardous
Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship
Pollution
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping,
Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note: Nahr al Litani only major river in Near East not
crossing an international boundary; rugged terrain historically helped
isolate, protect, and develop numerous factional groups based on
religion, clan, and ethnicity

@Lebanon:People

Population: 3,449,578 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 30% (male 531,171; female 511,522)
15-64 years: 64% (male 1,036,728; female 1,150,847)
65 years and over: 6% (male 100,682; female 118,628) (July 1997 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.62% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 22.74 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 6.56 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over : 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 32.8 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population : 70.35 years
male: 67.82 years
female : 73 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.32 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Lebanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Lebanese

Ethnic groups: Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%

Religions: Islam 70% (5 legally recognized Islamic groups - Alawite or
Nusayri, Druze, Isma'ilite, Shi'a, Sunni), Christian 30% (11 legally
recognized Christian groups - 4 Orthodox Christian, 6 Catholic, 1
Protestant), Judaism NEGL%

Languages: Arabic (official), French (official), Armenian, English

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.4%
male: 94.7%
female: 90.3% (1995 est.)

@Lebanon:Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Lebanese Republic
conventional short form: Lebanon
local long form : Al Jumhuriyah al Lubnaniyah
local short form: Lubnan

Data code: LE

Government type: republic

National capital: Beirut

Administrative divisions: 5 governorates (muhafazat, singular -
muhafazah); Al Biqa', Al Janub, Ash Shamal, Bayrut, Jabal Lubnan

Independence: 22 November 1943 (from League of Nations mandate under
French administration)

National holiday: Independence Day, 22 November (1943)

Constitution: 23 May 1926, amended a number of times

Legal system: mixture of Ottoman law, canon law, Napoleonic code, and
civil law; no judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 21 years of age; compulsory for all males; authorized for
women at age 21 with elementary education

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Ilyas HARAWI (since 24 November 1989)
head of government : Prime Minister Rafiq al-HARIRI (since 22 October
1992)
cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister in consultation with the
members of the National Assembly; the current Cabinet was formed in
1996
elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a six-year
term; election last held 24 November 1989 (next to be held NA 1998);
note - in 1995, the National Assembly amended the Constituition to
extend the president's term by three years; prime minister and deputy
prime minister appointed by the president in consultation with the
National Assembly; by custom, the president is a Maronite Christian,
the prime minister is a Sunni Muslim, and the speaker of the
legislature is a Shi'a Muslim
election results: Ilyas HARAWI elected president; percent of National
Assembly vote - NA

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Majlis Alnuwab
(Arabic) or Assemblee Nationale (French) (128 seats; members elected
by popular vote on the basis of sectarian proportional representation
to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held in the summer of 1996 (next to be held NA 2000)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA
(one-half Christian and one-half Muslim)

Judicial branch: four Courts of Cassation (three courts for civil and
commercial cases and one court for criminal cases)

Political parties and leaders: political party activity is organized
along largely sectarian lines; numerous political groupings exist,
consisting of individual political figures and followers motivated by
religious, clan, and economic considerations

International organization participation: ABEDA, ACCT, AFESD, AL, AMF,
CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA,
IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol,
IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OIC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO,
UNHCR, UNIDO, UNRWA, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Victor
EL-ZMETER
chancery: 2560 28th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-6300
FAX: [1] (202) 939-6324
consulate(s) general: Detroit, New York, and Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador Richard Henry JONES
embassy: Antelias, Beirut
mailing address: P. O. Box 70-840, Beirut; PSC 815, Box 2, FPO AE
09836-0002
telephone: [961] (1) 402200, 403300, 406650, 406651, 426183, 417774,
889926
FAX : [961] (1) 407112

Flag description: three horizontal bands of red (top), white (double
width), and red with a green and brown cedar tree centered in the
white band

Economy

Economy - overview: The 1975-91 civil war seriously damaged Lebanon's
economic infrastructure, cut national output by half, and all but
ended Lebanon's position as a Middle Eastern entrepot and banking hub.
Peace has enabled the central government to restore control in Beirut,
begin collecting taxes, and regain access to key port and government
facilities. Economic recovery has been helped by a financially sound
banking system and resilient small- and medium-scale manufacturers,
with family remittances, banking services, manufactured and farm
exports, and international aid as the main sources of foreign
exchange. Lebanon's economy has made impressive gains since Prime
Minister HARIRI launched his $18 billion "Horizon 2000" reconstruction
program in 1993. Real GDP grew 8% in 1994 and 7% in 1995 before
Israel's Operation Grapes of Wrath in April 1996 stunted economic
activity. During 1992-96, annual inflation fell from more than 170% to
10%, and foreign exchange reserves jumped to more than $4 billion from
$1.4 billion. Burgeoning capital inflows have fueled foreign payments
surpluses, and the Lebanese pound has remained relatively stable.
Progress also has been made in rebuilding Lebanon's war-torn physical
and financial infrastructure. Solidere, a $2-billion firm, is managing
the reconstruction of Beirut's central business district, the stock
market reopened in January 1996, and international banks and insurance
companies are returning. The government nonetheless faces serious
challenges in the economic arena. The government has had to fund
reconstruction by tapping foreign exchange reserves and boosting
borrowing. The stalled peace process and ongoing violence in southern
Lebanon could spawn wider hostilities that would disrupt vital capital
inflows. Furthermore, the gap between rich and poor has widened since
HARIRI took office, sowing grassroots dissatisfaction over the skewed
distribution of reconstruction's benefits and leading the government
to shift its focus from rebuilding infrastructure to improving social
conditions.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $13 billion (1996 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 3.5% (1996 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,400 (1996 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 13%
industry: 28%
services: 59% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 10% (1996 est.)

Labor force:
total: 1 million plus as many as 1 million foreign workers
by occupation: services 60%, industry 28%, agriculture 12% (1990 est.)

Unemployment rate: 20% (1996 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $1.9 billion
expenditures: $3.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $1
billion (1995 est.)

Industries: banking; food processing; textiles, jewelry; cement, oil
refining, chemicals, metal fabricating, wood products

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - capacity: 1.22 million kW (1994)

Electricity - production: 4.75 billion kWh (1994)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 1,285 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture - products: citrus, vegetables, potatoes, olives, tobacco,
hemp (hashish); sheep, goats

Exports:
total value : $1 billion (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: paper and paper products 26%, food stuffs 16%, textiles
and textile products 10%, jewelry 8%, metals and metal products 8%,
electrical equipment and products 8%, chemical products 6%, transport
vehicles 4% (1995)
partners: Saudi Arabia 13%, Switzerland 12%, UAE 11%, Syria 9%, US 5%,
Jordan 5% (1995)

Imports:
total value: $7 billion (c.i.f., 1996 est.)
commodities : machinery and transport equipment 28%, foodstuffs 20%,
consumer goods 19%, chemicals 9%, textiles 5%, metals 5%, fuels 3%
(1995)
partners: Italy 19%, France 13%, US 12%, Germany 11%, UK 6%, Belgium
5%, Turkey 3% (1995)

Debt - external: $3 billion (1996 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: aid pledges of $3.5 billion for 1997-2001

Currency: 1 Lebanese pound (úL) = 100 piasters

Exchange rates: Lebanese pounds (úL) per US$1 - 1,550.8 (January
1997), 1,571.4 (1996), 1,621.4 (1995), 1,680.1 (1994), 1,741.4 (1993),
1,712.8 (1992)

Fiscal year: calendar year

@Lebanon:Communications

Telephones: 150,000 (1990 est.)

Telephone system: telecommunications system severely damaged by civil
war; rebuilding well underway
domestic: primarily microwave radio relay and cable
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean
and 1 Atlantic Ocean) (erratic operations); coaxial cable to Syria;
microwave radio relay to Syria but inoperable beyond Syria to Jordan;
3 submarine coaxial cables

Radio broadcast stations: AM 5, FM 3, shortwave 1
note: government is licensing a limited number of the more than 100 AM
and FM stations operated sporadically by various factions that sprang
up during the civil war

Radios: 2.37 million (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 13
note: government is licensing a limited number of TV stations operated
by various factions

Televisions: 1.1 million (1993 est.)

@Lebanon:Transportation

Railways:
total: 222 km
standard gauge : 222 km 1.435-m (from Beirut to the Syrian border)

Highways:
total: 6,359 km
paved: 6,041 km
unpaved: 318 km (1995 est.)

Pipelines: crude oil 72 km (none in operation)

Ports and harbors: Al Batrun, Al Mina, An Naqurah, Antilyas, Az
Zahrani, Beirut, Jubayl, Juniyah, Shikka, Sidon, Tripoli, Tyre

Merchant marine:
total: 64 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 241,583 GRT/366,093 DWT
ships by type: bulk 5, cargo 43, chemical tanker 1, combination
ore/oil 1, container 2, livestock carrier 5, oil tanker 1,
roll-on/roll-off cargo 2, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 3
(1996 est.)

Airports: 7 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 6
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m : 1
under 914 m: 2 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (1996 est.)

Military

Military branches: Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF; includes Army, Navy,
and Air Force)

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49 : 876,677 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 543,861 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $278 million (1994)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 5.5% (1994)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: Israeli troops in southern Lebanon since
June 1982; Syrian troops in northern, central, and eastern Lebanon
since October 1976

Illicit drugs: small illicit producer of hashish and heroin for the
international drug trade; hashish production is shipped to Western
Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America; a key locus of
cocaine processing and trafficking; a Lebanese/Syrian eradication
campaign started in the early 1990s has practically eliminated the
opium and cannabis crops
______________________________________________________________________

LESOTHO

@Lesotho:Geography

Location: Southern Africa, an enclave of South Africa

Geographic coordinates: 29 30 S, 28 30 E

Map references: Africa

Area:
total: 30,350 sq km
land: 30,350 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries:
total: 909 km
border countries : South Africa 909 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: temperate; cool to cold, dry winters; hot, wet summers

Terrain: mostly highland with plateaus, hills, and mountains

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: junction of the Orange and Makhaleng Rivers 1,400 m
highest point : Mount Thabana Ntlenyana 3,482 m

Natural resources: water, agricultural and grazing land, some diamonds
and other minerals

Land use:
arable land: 11%
permanent crops : NA%
permanent pastures: 66%
forests and woodland : NA%
other: 23% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 30 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: periodic droughts

Environment - current issues: population pressure forcing settlement
in marginal areas results in overgrazing, severe soil erosion, soil
exhaustion; desertification; Highlands Water Project will control,
store, and redirect water to South Africa

Environment - international agreements:
party to : Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Marine Life
Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine
Dumping

Geography - note: landlocked; surrounded by South Africa

@Lesotho:People

Population: 2,007,814 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 41% (male 408,723; female 406,849)
15-64 years : 55% (male 533,327; female 566,684)
65 years and over: 4% (male 37,990; female 54,241) (July 1997 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.83% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 32.19 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 13.92 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years : 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 80.3 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 51.66 years
male: 49.48 years
female: 53.91 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.22 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Mosotho (singular), Basotho (plural)
adjective: Basotho

Ethnic groups: Sotho 99.7%, Europeans 1,600, Asians 800

Religions: Christian 80%, rest indigenous beliefs

Languages: Sesotho (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa

Literacy:
definition : age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 71.3%
male : 81.1%
female: 62.3% (1995 est.)

@Lesotho:Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Lesotho
conventional short form: Lesotho
former: Basutoland

Data code: LT

Government type: modified constitutional monarchy

National capital: Maseru

Administrative divisions: 10 districts; Berea, Butha-Buthe, Leribe,
Mafeteng, Maseru, Mohale's Hoek, Mokhotlong, Qacha's Nek, Quthing,
Thaba-Tseka

Independence: 4 October 1966 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 4 October (1966)

Constitution: 2 April 1993

Legal system: based on English common law and Roman-Dutch law;
judicial review of legislative acts in High Court and Court of Appeal;
has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state : King LETSIE III (since 7 February 1996, succeeded to
the throne following the death of his father, King MOSHOESHOE II, on
16 January 1996); note - King LETSIE III formerly occupied the throne
(November 1990 to February 1995) while his father was in exile
head of government: Prime Minister Ntsu MOKHEHLE (since 2 April 1993)
cabinet: Cabinet
elections: none; the king is a hereditary monarch, but, under the
terms of the constitution which came into effect after the March 1993
election, he has no executive or legislative powers; moreover, under
traditional law the king can be elected or deposed by a majority vote
of the College of Chiefs; following legislative elections, the leader
of the party that wins the most seats usually becomes prime minister

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (33
members - 22 principal chiefs and 11 other members appointed by the
ruling party) and the Assembly (65 seats; members elected for a
five-year term by popular vote)
elections: last held 27 March 1993 (next to be held by March 1998)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - BCP
65

Judicial branch: High Court; Court of Appeal; Magistrate's Court;
customary or traditional court

Political parties and leaders: Basotho National Party or BNP
[Evaristus SEKHONYANA]; Basotholand Congress Party or BCP [Ntsu
MOKHEHLE]; Marematlou Freedom Party or MFP [Vincent MALEBO]; United
Democratic Party or UDP [Charles MOFELI]

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO,
G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFCTU, IFRCS, ILO, IMF,
Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, SACU,
SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO,
WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Eunice M. BULANE
chancery: 2511 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone : [1] (202) 797-5533 through 5536
FAX: [1] (202) 234-6815

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Bismarck MYRICK
embassy: 254 Kingsway, Maseru West (Consular Section)
mailing address: P. O. Box 333, Maseru 100, Lesotho
telephone: [266] 312666
FAX : [266] 310116

Flag description: divided diagonally from the lower hoist side corner;
the upper half is white, bearing the brown silhouette of a large
shield with crossed spear and club; the lower half is a diagonal blue
band with a green triangle in the corner

Economy

Economy - overview: Small, landlocked, and mountainous, Lesotho has no
important natural resources other than water. Its economy is based on
agriculture, light manufacturing, and remittances from miners employed
in South Africa. The number of such mine workers has declined steadily
over the past five years; in 1996 their remittances added about 33% to
GDP compared with the addition of roughly 67% in 1990. The great
majority of households gain their livelihoods from subsistence farming
and migrant labor; a large portion of the adult male work force is
employed in South African mines. Manufacturing depends largely on farm
products which support the milling, canning, leather, and jute
industries. Although drought has decreased agricultural activity over
the past few years, completion of a major hydropower facility will
permit the sale of water to South Africa and will support the
economy's continued expansion. The pace of the privatization of
state-owned firms increased toward the end of 1994.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $3.7 billion (1996 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 10% (1996 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,860 (1996 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 14%
industry: 46%
services : 40% (1994 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 8.7% (1996 est.)

Labor force:
total : 689,000 economically active
by occupation: 86% of resident population engaged in subsistence
agriculture; roughly 35% of the active male wage earners work in South
Africa

Unemployment rate: substantial unemployment and underemployment
effecting more than half of the labor force (1996 est.)

Budget:
revenues : $445 million
expenditures: $400 million, including capital expenditures of $128
million (FY94/95 est.)

Industries: food, beverages, textiles, handicrafts; construction;
tourism

Industrial production growth rate: 12.5% (1994 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 13,400 kW (1993)
note: 98% of electricity supplied by South Africa

Electricity - production: NA kWh
note: 98% of electricity supplied by South Africa

Electricity - consumption per capita: NA kWh

Agriculture - products: corn, wheat, pulses, sorghum, barley;
livestock

Exports:
total value: $218 million (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: clothing, furniture, footwear, machinery and equipment,
wool (1993)
partners: South African Customs Union 46%, North America 34%, EU 18%
(1993)

Imports:
total value: $1.1 billion (c.i.f., 1996 est.)
commodities: corn, clothing, building materials, vehicles, machinery,
medicines, petroleum products (1993)
partners: South African Customs Union 83%, Asia 12%, EU 3% (1993)

Debt - external: $512 million (1993)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 loti (L) = 100 lisente
note : maloti (M) is the plural form of loti

Exchange rates: maloti (M) per US$1 - 4.6410 (January 1997), 4.2706
(1996), 3.6266 (1995), 3.5490 (1994), 3.2636 (1993), 2.8497 (1992);
note - the Basotho loti is at par with the South African rand

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

@Lesotho:Communications

Telephones: 12,000 (1991 est.)

Telephone system: rudimentary system
domestic: consists of a few landlines, a small microwave radio relay
system, and a minor radiotelephone communication system
international : satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 4, shortwave 0

Radios: 66,000

Television broadcast stations: 1

Televisions: 11,000 (1992 est.)

@Lesotho:Transportation

Railways:
total: 2.6 km; note - owned by, operated by, and included in the
statistics of South Africa
narrow gauge: 2.6 km 1.067-m gauge (1995)

Highways:
total : 4,955 km
paved: 887 km
unpaved: 4,068 km (1995 est.)

Ports and harbors: none

Airports: 29 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total : 25
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 23 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 4
914 to 1,523 m : 4 (1996 est.)

Military

Military branches: Lesotho Defense Force (LDF; includes Army and Air
Wing), Lesotho Mounted Police

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 468,658 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 253,025 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none
______________________________________________________________________

LIBERIA

Introduction

Current issues: Years of civil strife have destroyed much of Liberia's
economic infrastructure, made civil administration nearly impossible,
and brought economic activity virtually to a halt. The deterioration
of economic conditions has been greatly exacerbated by the flight of
most business people with their expertise and capital. Civil order
ended in 1990 when President Samuel Kenyon DOE was killed by rebel
forces. In April 1996, when forces loyal to faction leaders Charles
Ghankay TAYLOR and Alhaji KROMAH attacked rival ethnic Krahn factions,
the fighting further damaged Monrovia's dilapidated infrastructure.
Fighting waned in late May 1996, allowing West African peacekeepers to
regain control of Monrovia. The Abuja II peace accord was signed in
August 1996 replacing the Chairman of the ruling Council of State,
Wilton SANKAWULO, with Ruth PERRY. National elections were scheduled
for 30 May 1997, but long-term prospects for peace will remain poor
unless the warring factions can overcome their greed, mutual
suspicions and ethnic hatreds.

@Liberia:Geography

Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between
Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone

Geographic coordinates: 6 30 N, 9 30 W

Map references: Africa

Area:
total: 111,370 sq km
land : 96,320 sq km
water: 15,050 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly larger than Tennessee

Land boundaries:
total: 1,585 km
border countries: Guinea 563 km, Cote d'Ivoire 716 km, Sierra Leone
306 km

Coastline: 579 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 200 nm

Climate: tropical; hot, humid; dry winters with hot days and cool to
cold nights; wet, cloudy summers with frequent heavy showers

Terrain: mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling
plateau and low mountains in northeast

Elevation extremes:
lowest point : Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Wuteve 1,380 m

Natural resources: iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold

Land use:
arable land: 1%
permanent crops: 3%
permanent pastures: 59%
forests and woodland: 18%
other: 19% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: dust-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara
(December to March)

Environment - current issues: tropical rain forest subject to
deforestation; soil erosion; loss of biodiversity; pollution of rivers
from the dumping of iron ore tailings and of coastal waters from oil
residue and raw sewage

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Endangered Species, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer
Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Environmental
Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation

@Liberia:People

Population: 2,602,068 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 45% (male 584,918; female 579,728)
15-64 years: 52% (male 689,376; female 657,029)
65 years and over : 3% (male 43,868; female 47,149) (July 1997 est.)

Population growth rate: 6.92% (1997 est.)

Birth rate: 42.3 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 11.53 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: 38.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)
note: until domestic peace is restored, many Liberian refugees will
not return from exile

Sex ratio:
at birth : 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female
total population : 1.03 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 105.6 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 59.02 years
male : 56.43 years
female: 61.69 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.16 children born/woman (1997 est.)

Nationality:
noun : Liberian(s)
adjective: Liberian

Ethnic groups: indigenous African tribes 95% (including Kpelle, Bassa,
Gio, Kru, Grebo, Mano, Krahn, Gola, Gbandi, Loma, Kissi, Vai, and
Bella), Americo-Liberians 5% (descendants of former slaves)

Religions: traditional 70%, Muslim 20%, Christian 10%

Languages: English 20% (official), about 20 tribal languages, of which
a few can be written and are used in correspondence

Literacy:
definition : age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 38.3%
male : 53.9%
female: 22.4% (1995 est.)

@Liberia:Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Liberia
conventional short form: Liberia

Data code: LI

Government type: republic

National capital: Monrovia

Administrative divisions: 13 counties; Bomi, Bong, Grand Bassa, Grand
Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Lofa, Margibi, Maryland,
Montserrado, Nimba, River Cess, Sinoe

Independence: 26 July 1847

National holiday: Independence Day, 26 July (1847)

Constitution: 6 January 1986

Legal system: dual system of statutory law based on Anglo-American
common law for the modern sector and customary law based on unwritten
tribal practices for indigenous sector

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: Chairman of the Council of State Ruth PERRY (since NA
August 1996); note - chairman of the Council of State is both the
chief of state and head of government
head of government : Chairman of the Council of State Ruth PERRY
(since NA August 1996); note - chairman of the Council of State is
both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet selected by the leaders of the major factions in the
civil war
elections: last presidential election held 15 October 1985 (next to be
held 19 July 1997); results - Samuel Kanyon DOE (NDPL) 50.9%, Jackson
DOE (LAP) 26.4%, other 22.7%
note : constitutional government ended in September 1990 when
President Samuel Kanyon DOE was killed by rebel forces; civil war
ensued and in August 1996 the Abuja II peace accord was signed by the
major warring factions; a transitional coalition government under Ruth
PERRY was formed in August 1996; presidential elections are scheduled
for 19 July 1997

Legislative branch: unicameral Transitional Legislative Assembly, the
members of which are appointed by the leaders of the major factions in
the civil war
note : the former bicameral legislature no longer exists and is
unlikely to be reconstituted soon

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: present conditions of civil strife and
anarchy have rendered Liberia's political parties completely
ineffectual; prior to the outbreak of warfare among armed factions the
following political parties were prominent: National Democratic Party
of Liberia or NDPL [Augustus CAINE, chairman]; Liberian Action Party
or LAP [Emmanuel KOROMAH, chairman]; Unity Party or UP [Joseph KOFA,
chairman]; United People's Party or UPP [Gabriel Baccus MATTHEWS,
chairman]; National Patriotic Party or NPP [Charles Ghankay TAYLOR,
chairman]; Liberian Peoples Party or LPP [Dusty WOLOKOLLIE, chairman]

Political pressure groups and leaders: the following armed factions,
in accordance with the peace accord of August 1995, form the
transitional government of Liberia: Armed Forces of Liberia or AFL
(formerly a part of the national armed forces) [Lt. Gen. Hezekiah
BOWEN, leader]; National Patriotic Front of Liberia or NPFL (initiated
hostilities against Samuel DOE's government from Cote d' Ivoire in
December 1989) [Charles Ghankay TAYLOR, leader]; Central Revolutionary
Committee or CRC (dissident members of the NPFL in conflict with
forces loyal to Charles Ghankay TAYLOR) [Thomas J. WOEWIYU, LEADER];
Liberia Peace Council or LPC (has opposed NPLF forces in southeastern
Liberia) [Dr. George F. SAIGBE BOLEY, chairman; Octavius WALKER,
secretary-general]; United Liberation Movement of Liberia for
Democracy or ULIMO (former supporters of Samuel DOE that have split on
ethnic lines into two groups in conflict with each other: ULIMO-K
[Alhaji G. V. KROMAH, leader] and ULIMO-J [Maj. Gen. Roosevelt
JOHNSON, leader]); Lofa Defence Force or LDF (has fought the ULIMO
forces in Lofa county) [Francois MASSAQUOI, leader]; note - the
ULIMO-J forces are of the Krahn ethnic group and the ULIMO-K forces
are of the Mandingo ethnic group

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS,
FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO,
IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM,
ITU, NAM, OAU, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO,
WMO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Konah K. BLACKETT
chancery: 5201 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
telephone : [1] (202) 723-0437
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission : Ambassador (vacant); Chief of Mission William MILAM
embassy: 111 United Nations Drive, Monrovia
mailing address: P. O. Box 100098, Mamba Point, Monrovia
telephone: [231] 226-370
FAX : [231] 226-148

Flag description: 11 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom)
alternating with white; there is a white five-pointed star on a blue
square in the upper hoist-side corner; the design was based on the US
flag

Economy

Economy - overview: Civil war since 1990 has destroyed much of
Liberia's economy, especially the infrastructure in and around
Monrovia. Businessmen have fled the country, taking capital and
expertise with them. Many will not return. Richly endowed with water,
mineral resources, forests and a climate favorable to agriculture,
Liberia had been a producer and exporter of basic products, while
local manufacturing, mainly foreign owned, had been small in scope.
Political and economic instability - including the stripping of
resources by local warlords - threatens prospects for reconstruction
as well as the repatriation of an estimated 750,000 Liberian refugees
who have fled to neighboring countries. The continued political
turmoil has prevented restoration of normal economic life, including
the re-establishment of a strong central government with effective
economic development programs.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $2.4 billion (1995 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 0% (1995 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,100 (1995 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 30%
industry: 36%
services: 34%

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 50% (1994 est.)

Labor force:
total: 510,000 including 220,000 in the monetary economy
by occupation: agriculture 70.5%, services 10.8%, industry and
commerce 4.5%, other 14.2%
note : non-African foreigners hold about 95% of the top-level
management and engineering jobs

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget:
revenues: $225 million
expenditures: $285 million, including capital expenditures of $NA
(1994 est.)

Industries: rubber processing, food processing, construction
materials, furniture, palm oil processing, iron ore, diamonds

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - capacity: 430,000 kW (1991)

Electricity - production: 1.05 billion kWh (1991)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 384 kWh (1991 est.)

Agriculture - products: rubber, coffee, cocoa, rice, cassava
(tapioca), palm oil, sugarcane, bananas; sheep, goats; timber

Exports:
total value: $667 million (f.o.b., 1995 est.)
commodities: diamonds, iron ore, rubber, timber, coffee
partners: US, EU, Netherlands, Singapore

Imports:
total value : $5.8 billion (f.o.b., 1995 est.)
commodities: mineral fuels, chemicals, machinery, transportation
equipment, manufactured goods; rice and other foodstuffs
partners: US, EU, Japan, China, Netherlands, ECOWAS, South Korea

Debt - external: $2.1 billion (1994 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 Liberian dollar (L$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Liberian dollars (L$) per US$1 - 1.0000 (officially
fixed rate since 1940); market exchange rate: Liberian dollars (L$)
per US$1 - 50 (October 1995), 7 (January 1992); market rate floats
against the US dollar

Fiscal year: calendar year

@Liberia:Communications

Telephones: less than 25,000 (1991 est.)

Telephone system: telephone and telegraph service via microwave radio
relay network; main center is Monrovia; most telecommunications
services inoperable due to insurgency
domestic: NA
international : satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 4, shortwave 0

Radios: 622,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 5 (1987 est.)

Televisions: 51,000 (1992 est.)

@Liberia:Transportation

Railways:
total: 490 km (single track); note - three rail systems owned and
operated by foreign steel and financial interests in conjunction with
Liberian Government; one of these, the Lamco Railroad, closed in 1989
after iron ore production ceased; the other two have been shut down by
the civil war
standard gauge : 345 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 145 km 1.067-m gauge

Highways:
total: 10,300 km
paved: 628 km
unpaved : 9,672 km (1995 est.)

Ports and harbors: Buchanan, Greenville, Harper, Monrovia

Merchant marine:
total : 1,616 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 60,081,452
GRT/99,395,792 DWT
ships by type: barge carrier 3, bulk 418, cargo 121, chemical tanker
117, combination bulk 29, combination ore/oil 58, container 151,
liquefied gas tanker 83, multifunction large-load carrier 1, oil
tanker 450, passenger 36, refrigerated cargo 68, roll-on/roll-off
cargo 29, short-sea passenger 1, specialized tanker 11, vehicle
carrier 40
note: a flag of convenience registry; includes ships from 56 countries
among which are Germany 179, US 176, Norway 166, Japan 154, Greece
147, Hong Kong 120, China 45, UK 40, Monaco 39, and Cyprus 33 (1996
est.)

Airports: 36 (1996 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 30
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m : 1
under 914 m: 28 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total : 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 4 (1996 est.)

Military

Military branches: NA; the ultimate structure of the Liberian military
force will depend on who is the victor in the ongoing civil war

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49 : 592,730 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 316,906 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $14 million (1993)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.9% (1993)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

Illicit drugs: increasingly a transshipment point for Southeast and
Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine for the European and
US markets
______________________________________________________________________

LIBYA

@Libya:Geography

Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between
Egypt and Tunisia

Geographic coordinates: 25 00 N, 17 00 E

Map references: Africa

Area:
total: 1,759,540 sq km
land: 1,759,540 sq km
water : 0 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly larger than Alaska

Land boundaries:
total: 4,383 km
border countries: Algeria 982 km, Chad 1,055 km, Egypt 1,150 km, Niger
354 km, Sudan 383 km, Tunisia 459 km

Coastline: 1,770 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
note: Gulf of Sidra closing line - 32 degrees 30 minutes north

Climate: Mediterranean along coast; dry, extreme desert interior

Terrain: mostly barren, flat to undulating plains, plateaus,
depressions

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Sabkhat Ghuzayyil -47 m
highest point: Bikku Bitti 2,267 m

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, gypsum

Land use:
arable land: 1%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures : 8%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 91% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 4,700 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: hot, dry, dust-laden ghibli is a southern wind
lasting one to four days in spring and fall; dust storms, sandstorms

Environment - current issues: desertification; very limited natural
fresh water resources; the Great Manmade River Project, the largest
water development scheme in the world, is being built to bring water
from large aquifers under the Sahara to coastal cities

Environment - international agreements:

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