Rebuilding Liberia

Photograph for TIME by Anna Kari

Power down Schoolgirls study beneath one of Buchanan's few working streetlights

There are few better records of the shifting fortunes of Liberia than the guest register at the Mamba Point Hotel. When Chawki Bsaibes opened up in the old Dutch embassy on Monrovia's bullet-pocked seafront in the dying days of Liberia's first civil war in 1993, his customers were peacekeepers, war correspondents and development workers. When fighting started again in 1999, the reporters returned, followed by mercenaries, and then — with the arrival of a second fragile peace after President Charles Taylor's defeat and exile in 2003 — a wild-eyed group of Western carpetbaggers after a quick buck. It was only when...

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