Professor Stephen Ellis is the Desmond Tutu professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the VU University Amsterdam, and a Senior Researcher at the Afrika Studie Centrum in Leiden. He has worked as the editor of the newsletter Africa Confidential and is also a past editor of African Affairs, the journal of Britain’s Royal African Society. In 2003-2004 he was director of the Africa programme at the International Crisis Group. He has worked as a consultant for various governments in Europe and Africa and for the United Nations. In 1997-98 he worked as a researcher for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. His current research project is on crime in West Africa.