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1.1 Background of the study
Peacekeeping has its origin in the United Nations and since its inception; the United Nations has developed a number of instrument for controlling and resolving conflicts between and within states. The most crucial among them as in the Secretary General’s supplement to an agenda for peace is: peace building; disarmament; sanction; and peace enforcement. The United Nations does not claim monopoly of these instruments. It is pertinent to state that in many instances, the instruments have been usefully employed by regional organizations, ad-hoc groups of the states or by individual states as is the case with ECOWAS, a regional organization that has ECOMOG as its harbinger in the West African sub-region. The comparative advantage which the United Nations has over regional bodies like ECOMOG is the tremendous wealth of experience in the use of these instrument and the legitimacy of their use, hence the international conflicts especially since the end of the cold war era. Furthermore, the United Nations system appears to be better equipped and financed than regional organizations or individual member states to develop and apply the comprehensive, long-term approach needed to ensure the lasting resolution of conflicts. Peace keeping, one of the best known United Nations instrument for the maintenance of peace and security requires the cooperation of the parties to conflict in question, while seeking to settle disputes through initiatives. Peacekeeping in the West – African sub-region especially in Liberia, was the idea of ECOWAS, which created ECOMOG to resolve the crisis in the war-torn Liberia and subsequently in the sub-region. The political crisis in Liberia reached its apogee following the invasion of the Nimba country by Charles Talyor in December 1989 under the banner of National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL). By early 1990, the situation degenerated with rebel forces having reached Monrovia. International call for a cease-fire went unheeded and mediation efforts ultimately proved (iii) That parties should subscribe to free and fair election as the only way to restore peace and harmony in that country. It is worthy of mention at this juncture that the Liberia crisis is a strong case that the military can perform duties that go beyond classical peacekeeping functions. We should be mindful of the fact that many of the conflict situations call for the ability to combine normal combat with non-military tasks of handling and assisting Organization in providing humanitarian relief and the much needed peace. The ECOMOG experience has shown that the West-Africa sub-region has come of age because it was able to resolve the crisis in Liberia: It could also be said to be the first successful peace keeping in the world. In August 1990, West African leaders (including the secretary general of the OAU) met in Banjul, Gambia under the aegis of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and under Nigeria’s political, economic, and military leadership, established the ECOWAS Ceasefire Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), which provided the military wherewithal to intercede between the warring factions in Liberia’s internecine civil war. The cease fire monitoring role was later expanded to include the enforcement of the many ephemeral peace accords signed by the armed factions and later still the ECOMOG mission was deployed to Sierra Leone which was engulfed in crises. Although the decision to deploy troops was political, ECOMOGs operations have been for the most part military. Nigeria remains the largest contributor to ECOMOG’s troop and logistical requirements as well as the key player in the peace initiatives, which has frequently brought leaders of the warring factions together for a negotiated settlement of issues fuelling crises. The events in Liberia and later Sierra Leone are enough evidence of the role of economic unions in peace keeping. One of the most memorable achievements of ECOMOG is the restoration of peace and political stability in the war torn mineral rich country of Liberia which had been flung into seven years of bitter fighting exacting a huge toll on the entire country and its people with an average negative GDP drop of 8% per annum over the seven year period.
The cease fire monitoring role was later expanded to include the enforcement of the many ephemeral peace accords signed by the armed factions and later still the ECOMOG mission was deployed to Sierra Leone which was engulfed in crises. Although the decision to deploy troops was political, ECOMOGs operations have been for the most part military. Nigeria remains the largest contributor to ECOMOG’s troop and logistical requirements as well as the key player in the peace initiatives, which has frequently brought leaders of the warring factions together for a negotiated settlement of issues fuelling crises. The events in Liberia and later Sierra Leone are enough evidence of the role of economic unions in peace keeping. One of the most memorable achievements of ECOMOG is the restoration of peace and political stability in the war torn mineral rich country of Liberia which had been flung into seven years of bitter fighting exacting a huge toll on the entire country and its people with an average negative GDP drop of 8% per annum over the seven year period. The peacekeeping initiatives developed and practiced in the form of ECOMOG are unique and show the seriousness of purpose to bring about collective security. Other regional organizations (except for the Warsaw Pact’s intervention in Eastern Europe) have not taken the bold step to enforce peace in their respective areas. The idea to launch the ECOMOG operation in Liberia was an attempt by ECOWAS to employ peacekeeping operations as part of its approach to finding a peaceful solution to the Liberian crisis in line with the practice already established by the UN.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The main thrust of this research work centers on the interplay of force and diplomacy in the resolution of the Liberian conflict by ECOWAS cease-fire Monitoring Group (ECOMOG). There was interplay of many variables during the Liberia civil war that lasted for upwards of seven years with the causalities estimated at about 150,000. The composition and character of these forces, the timing of the operation, the reaction and character of some members states of ECOWAS, the reaction and co-operation or non-co-operation of the warring factions, the internationalization of the conflict, the interplay of force or diplomacy in the resolution of the crisis all were issues of disagreement and skepticism. However, be it as it was ECOMOG or rather ECOWAS was able to restore peace and security to Liberia after about seven years in the fray amidst 17 When the Liberia war began in 1989, it automatically engaged the attention of leaders and people across the West African sub-region. Given the magnitude of the tragedy, in which Liberia was engulfed, as well as the need for the sub-regional security and indeed for the pride and dignity of the black race, a broad consensus emerged within the sub-region that the situation needed an urgent solution. It is also on record that at the time of the war, the rest of the world though saddened by the scope of the tragedy was seemingly pre-occupied with the developments elsewhere. This state of affairs resulted in the inability of necessary world organizations to commit either human or material resources to salvage the rapidly deteriorating situations in Liberia. Hence the human carnage. It was against this background that the ECOWAS decided to find an urgent solution that was capable of stopping the senseless carnage and restoring peace to Liberia. This was in response to the desperate pleas of the traumatized majority of Liberians. In August 1990, the authority of the 18 Heads of states and Governments of ECOWAS initiated a mediation process, which eventually culminated in the formation and deployment of a sub-region peace-monitoring group, ECOMOG.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The broad objective of this study is to examine the peacekeeping operation on West Africa sub-region using ECOMOG intervention in Liberia crisis as a case study. The specific objectives are as follows:
(1) To determine the extent to which the inability of most members to fulfill their financial obligations constitute a major constraint to ECOMOG
(2) To evaluate ECOMOG crisis management capability as a peacekeeping force in West Africa sub-region.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To what extend did the security implication of the Liberian crisis to the West Africa sub-region informed the decision of the ECOWAS to intervene in the crisis?
2. To what extend did the support given to ECOMOG by the member states of ECOWAS enhance the process of bringing peace to Liberia?
3. To what extend did the colonial orientation on the force contributing state of ECOWAS affect the operation of the ECOMOG in Liberia?
4. To what extend did the support given by the neighboring Government to the rebel forces complicate the crisis in Liberia?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research work is of immense significance because it borders on the total restoration of peace in a state in the West African sub-region. The studies will look at the vast array of conflict management techniques in West Africa. Furthermore, the study will be invaluable to African leaders, 20 as it will enable them to handle crises at the early stages before it degenerates into a civil war. Those in the academia, particularly, researchers in the area of conflicts and conflict resolution will find this work as an indispensable reference point for future researches as it will richly add to existing literature on peacekeeping and international security. Finally, the economic community of west Africa States (ECOWAS) will find this study exceedingly useful because it will enable them to properly evaluate the peacekeeping efforts as effective instruments of international politics.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers peacekeeping in Africa with emphasis on ECOMOG intervention in Liberia, in the cause of the study, the researcher encounters the following limitation
a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) FINANCE: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Peacekeeping refers to activities intended to create conditions that favour lasting peace. Research generally finds that peacekeeping reduces civilian and battlefield deaths and reduces the risk of renewed warfare.
The Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group was a West African multilateral armed force established by the Economic Community of West African States. ECOMOG was a formal arrangement for separate armies to work together
The Economic Community of West African States, also known as ECOWAS, is a regional economic union of fifteen countries located in West Africa
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