Stephen Ellis is the director of the International Crisis Group Africa programme. A historian by training, he has wide experience as an academic and a journalist. He is the former director of the African Studies Centre, Leiden, the Netherlands, and former editor of the well-known newsletter Africa Confidential. He currently co-edits African Affairs, the journal of the Royal African Society. A frequent broadcaster, he has written several books on African history and politics. The most recent is The Mask of Anarchy: the destruction of Liberia and the religious dimension of an African civil war (Hurst & Co., London, 1999).