Al-Hassan Conteh, a native Liberian, is a research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict.
He is editor of the Liberian Studies Journal and past president of the Liberian Studies Association and was active in the reorganization of the University of Liberia. He is currently writing a book on the causes and consequences of the Liberian Civil War.
Dr. Conteh has gathered the signatures of 38 U.S. and international academics and business executives in support of a worldwide appeal to the White House to send peacekeeping troops to Liberia.
"The Bush Administration seems willing to act, but only after troops from the Economic Community of West African States are deployed in Liberia, followed by President Charles Taylor's departure," Dr. Conteh said.
"Liberia holds the key to ending conflict and terrorism and encouraging the growth of democracy in West Africa. The people of Liberia, furthermore, have a special trust in the United States' good will and ability to assist them," Dr. Conteh wrote in a petition urging U.S. involvement.