Building Peace in West Africa: Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea-Bissau
Among all of Africa's troubled regions, West Africa has gone the furthest toward establishing a security mechanism to manage its own conflicts. The ECOMOG intervention in Liberia in 1990-1997 was the first by a subregional African organization relying principally on its own personnel, money, and military material; and ECOMOG's 1998 intervention in Sierra Leone to restore a democratic government to power was equally unprecedented. Adekeye Adebajo explores these two cases, as well as the brief and unsuccessful intervention in Guinea-Bissau in 1999, in this study of regional peacebuilding efforts. After discussing the political, economic, and security contexts of West Africa since independence, Adebajo assesses the domestic and external dynamics of the three conflicts and examines the roles and motivations of the full range of actors. Dissecting the successes and failures of external intervention in each case, he draws crucial policy lessons for building peace through the ECOWAS Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Pecekeeping, and Security.
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