I covered West Africa for the Washington Post from 1996 to 1999, re-opening the paper’s bureau in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. The nearby countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone were two of the most brutalized in the region, not least because their soil included diamond mines that drew local warlords and foreign adventurers who made war to make profits. In the index at right, find some of our stories from these countries, notably on the role played by Liberian warlord and president Charles Taylor. . . .