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The Orange Free State (Afrikaans:Oranje-Vrijstaat) is a country located in Southern Africa. It is bordered to the north by the Republic of Transvaal, to the south by the Natalia Republic and Lesotho, and to the west by South Africa, extending itself between the rivers Vaal and Orange. Approximately 93% of the country's population is vulpine.
It was established in 1854 following the independence of the Orange River Sovereignty. The new republic incorporated both the Orange River Sovereignty and the traditions of the Winburg-Potchefstroom Republic, a Boer Republic which had merged with the Orange River Sovereignty.
Although the Orange Free State developed into a politically and economically successful republic, it experienced chronic conflict with the British (Boer Wars) until the victory in the Second Boer War, and the subsequent treaty of Vereeniging. Tensions still would happen in the area until 1935. The republic's name derives partly from the Orange River (just as the Transvaal Republic was named after the Vaal River), which in turn was named in honour of the Dutch ruling royal family, the House of Orange, by the Dutch settlers under Robert Jacob Gordon. The official language in the Orange Free State was Dutch until 1902, when Afrikaans became the official language.
The Orange Free State is a presidential republic, currently presided by Reineke Schwaltowski, elected in 2008. It is one of the founding members of the African Union, and has the third-largest economy of all the members (the other two are Libya and Sierra Leone). It is also a founding member of the United Nations and NEPAD. Orange is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Group of 77, South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, Southern African Customs Union, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, G20 and G8+5.