A wave of often serious crime by former fighters in Liberia has alarmed police and welfare officials, who say the ex-combatants are going back to armed tactics for lack of the post-war psychological help and education they need. Many youthful Liberians have grown up with nothing but violence and often drugs during conflict.
With handpumps, latrines and the unimaginable luxury of electricity, the inhabitants of Cestos City in eastern Liberia are slowly rebuilding their ruined town under the shadow of epidemic illness. ''The war has destroyed everything we had,'' said Emmet Kay, looking around him at the barren landscape that used to be a large village.
Liberia's security will remain precarious until concentrated efforts are made to disarm next-door Côte d'Ivoire, General Daniel Opande, the Kenyan military commander for the UN mission in the west African state, said. ''I can assure you that at the end of our mission in Liberia, we will have collected all the arms, but the country will remain at risk if in Ivory Coast the guns are still in the hands of the wrong people,'' said Opande.