Samoa

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Samoa (formerly known as Western Samoa) is a republic in the Pacific Ocean, comprising of the two large islands of Savai'i and Upolu, the small islands of Manono and Apolima, and several uninhabited islets. These islands occupy the western half of the Samoan Islands in Polynesia. Earliest human settlement dates to circa 1500 BC with the arrival of Polynesian predecessors. In 1722, Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen was the first European to sight Samoa, and in 1768, the islands were named the Navigator Islands by French admiral Louis-Antoine de Bougainville. Following the Tripartite Convention of 1899, the islands were divided between east and west, with the eastern half being governed by the United States as American Samoa, and the western half by Germany as Western Samoa. Western Samoa was occupied by New Zealand forces during the First World War, and continued to administer the islands under a League of Nations mandate from 1920, and a United Nations Trusteeship from 1946. Western Samoa became an independent sovereign state in 1962, and amended its constitution in 1997, changing the country's name to Samoa. The capital and largest city is Apia. Estimated population of Samoa in 2012 was 194,320.