RealNews

Liberia Seen as Icon of World's Neglect of Africa

At a popular restaurant here on the water’s edge, the dinner menu offers a rare item: a vegetarian version of the traditional West African groundnut stew. Vegetarianism is anathema in this part of the world. But adjustments have had to be made in Sierra Leone because the world is here. Tens of thousands of foreigners have come to help restore peace in this tiny West African country. Pakistani peacekeepers patrol the streets. Norwegians are putting up houses for amputees (the most compelling casualties of Sierra Leone’s decade-long war). The Bangladeshis have built a “friendship school.” War criminals are to be tried in a new courthouse, under construction now, courtesy of foreign donors. Already, 17,000 United Nations peacekeepers, the largest such force in the world, have disarmed the warlords and drug-addled child soldiers who carried on this country’s decade-long war. Some people call this the United Nations of Sierra Leone. Full Story

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