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ECOWAS and the Subregional Peacekeeping in Liberia | The Journal of Humanitarian Assistance

Differing perceptions of the role of standards. Burma November Burundi November Guatemala November Guinea Bissau November This is partly due to the increase of violent conflicts in those countries, and partly a consequence of the flow of donor funds for peace-related activities in the world. While this increase of peace-related organisations is laudable, the lack of trained practitioners in these organisations poses a grave danger to peace-building in the sub-region.

Chasing donor funds has become a source of competition and conflict among many local NGOs in West African countries.

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LOG IN. African Studies Review. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Reviewed by:. John M.

  1. WANEP: The West African Network for Peace-building - Humanitarian Practice Network;
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If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE. The United Nations UN and the international community were discernibly slow in appreciating the real and potential danger of the conflict to West Africa and the continent as a whole.

ECOWAS and the Subregional Peacekeeping in Liberia

ECOMOG was meant to forestall the suffering of the civilian population, especially the tens of thousands of West African nationals trapped by the fighting. In spite of ECOWAS's projection of its mission as one that was designed to safeguard life and property, restore and maintain regional peace, stability and security, it failed to cut the ice with the international community. Perhaps the necessary relief for the regional initiative came in the wake of the NATO intervention in the Balkans, which did not have UN Security Council authorisation either - save for the argument of greater public good and regional security interests - until ex-post facto in June The reluctance to support the ECOWAS initiative served as a green light to the warlords and the countries that supported them to pursue their agenda of destabilising the sub-region.

Humanitarian Intervention Does More Harm Than Good

This development, coupled with the hasty US withdrawal of its forces from Somalia, which was subsequently followed by the withdrawal of the UN Humanitarian Mission in Somalia UNSOM , after several US rangers and Pakistani peacekeepers were killed, led many observers to conclude that the maintenance of peace and security in Africa was not a priority, especially if it meant putting Western troops in harm's way. But while some member states quickly withdrew their forces - lock, stock and barrel - from Somalia, following limited setbacks, some of the same lead nations stuck to their guns in the on-going operations in Afghanistan and Iraq where, they continue to suffer much more serious casualties, with no assured exit strategies in sight.

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  • International peacekeeping efforts in Africa suffered serious setbacks after the Somali debacle. Operating under a weak mandate and small force of about 2, troops, the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda UNAMIR 3 was forced to watch helplessly as thousands of innocent men, women and children were slaughtered by the Rwandan military and the government-backed Hutu Interahamwe militia. The obvious outcome of the failure of UN peacekeeping in the s, coupled with the indifference of the international community, has been the regionalisation of peace operations.

    African-led interventions were undertaken against the backdrop of limited human, financial, and logistical capacities, with little or experience in dealing with complex humanitarian emergencies. The culmination has been the attenuation of regional conflict resolution efforts to the detriment of the hundreds of thousands of civilians who continue to be caught in the maelstrom of these conflicts. In recognition of the challenges that confronted it in the s, the UN embarked on efforts to strengthen its capacity for preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peacekeeping.


    These efforts culminated in the publication of the seminal policy document An agenda for peace by Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali in with a subsequent review in While the trend towards what is now commonly referred to as the 'hybridisation' of peace operations has contributed to the implementation of ceasefire and peace agreements, they have raised some concerns. In particular, their operations outside the framework of UN peace operations and the selective nature of their contribution, often along colonial-linguistic lines, as well as their sometimes limited duration, have not been altogether helpful.

    UN and international commitment to the resolution of the continent's conflicts remains moderate when measured against the resources directed at conflicts in such places as Afghanistan and Iraq.