August 2003 was a dramatic month for Liberia. Rebels held Monrovia under siege, West African peacekeepers moved in, President Charles Taylor stepped down and the United States made its first peacekeeping foray into Africa in a decade. For Liberia, trapped in a 14-year cycle of civil war, recent events offer a first chance at peace, but the task ahead is enormous. Years of war and Taylor’s corrupt rule have left the country almost entirely destroyed.
About the author
Nicole Itano is a freelance reporter based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has reported from 15 African countries, for a variety of international media including the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Times, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Associated Press. During August 2003, she spent three weeks in Monrovia on assignment for the Christian Science Monitor, an American newspaper based in Boston. Ms. Itano has a bachelors degree in history, with an emphasis on modern African history, from Yale University in Connecticut.