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This research is about the Sierra Leone crisis and the lessons emanating from the crisis with regard to developing countries. The work was set out to find out if everything went on the way it is supposed to be in the ECOMOG operations. Sierra Leone is a West African country and member of ECOWAS which got involved in internal mutiny by the RUF. Moreover, there were military coup d’etats that toppled democratically elected governments. When the rebels engaged in ignoble and condemnable acts, there were international outcries including the member-states of ECOWAS. It took the intervention of ECOMOG to restore the government of Alhaji Tejan Kabbah. This study found that the decision to introduce ECOMOG troops by members of ECOWAS gave rise to a number of lessons. These lessons could be very important for developing countries when faced with similar problems in future. For example, there was no national interest at heart before Nigeria decided to lead ECOMOG into Sierra Leone. Other lessons include lack of military training of Sierra Leone Army, lack of logistic backup to ECOMOG troops, lack of adequate and timely intelligence for lower level field commanders and a host of other lessons. The study used secondary data from various sources as well as conducted interview with some ECOMOG veterans from Nigerian contingents who served in Sierra Leone. On the basis of these findings, implications and recommendations were advanced to assist developing countries that may be involved in conflict or conflict resolutions in future.
Peacekeeping operations in Africa has over the years been carried
out specifically by the UN. The Congo in 1960 and Somalia in 1993 are
examples. Such UN operations have been criticized by many Third World
Countries because the lacked one of the basic principles of peacekeeping,
ie. maintaining neutrality in a conflict. In the Congo, for instance, the
crisis became an arena for cold war politics. Responding to the accusation
that the UN used peacekeeping to promote Western interests, Dr.
Hanmaskjold, a former United Nations Secretary General (from Norway)
declared that “it is not the Soviet Union or indeed any other big powers
who need the UN for their protection, it is all the others, the organization
is first of all their organization”1.
This statement and similar encouragement by the UN, influence
small and medium powers in the Third World, including Nigeria to
participate in and support UN peacekeeping efforts even when they have
disapproved particular turns of events or actions.
The UN has often used peacekeeping as a tool of management, of
conflicts than regional organization do. However, with the lessening of the
East-West tension, the restructuring of the international security system
has created disruptions in the social and political order in many regions of
the world and led to a higher incidence of armed conflicts which needed
the deployment of the UN peacekeeping forces to perform a variety of
tasks that differ radically from the classical concepts of peacekeeping.
As will be discussed in chapter three, peacekeeping, as a concept, is
recently moving from its classical or traditional outlook to a force that
would actually enforce the decisions of the international commu
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