Former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, offers insights from decades mediating conflicts across Africa, from Liberia to Sudan. He takes us behind the scenes of some of the most tense moments of his career – including when he found out about protestors setting the Burkina Faso parliament ablaze while in the middle of delivering an important speech. He also recalls the harrowing experience of coming under mortar fire on a naval ship in Liberia, and how this brought home the brutal reality of war and the importance of seeking peace.