Liberia's Civil War: Nigeria, ECOMOG, and Regional Security in West Africa

Liberia's Civil War: Nigeria, ECOMOG, and Regional Security in West Africa

Liberia's Civil War: Nigeria, ECOMOG, and Regional Security in West Africa

Liberia's Civil War: Nigeria, ECOMOG, and Regional Security in West Africa

Synopsis

This text addresses questions such as Why did Nigeria intervene in Liberia and remain committed throughout the seven-year civil war? And to what extent was ECOMOG's intervention shaped by Nigeria's hegemonic aspirations?

Excerpt

It is with great pleasure that I commend to readers this outstanding volume by the director of the International Peace Academy's (IPA) Africa Program.

Dr. Adekeye Adebajo has been studying conflict in West Africa for the better part of a decade, interspersed with periods of duty for the United Nations (UN) in South Africa, Western Sahara, and Iraq. His in-depth knowledge of the conflicts in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea-Bissau—raging successively and simultaneously in some cases throughout the 1990s—is rare indeed. The UN has had occasion to draw on his analysis and views, as have several governments. Dr. Adebajo is one of the outstanding representatives of a new, exciting global crop of scholars of international relations and a singularly promising African academic.

this volume, Dr. Adebajo delves into the complex diplomacy of the Liberian civil war between 1989 and 1996 and examines the postwar years under Charles Taylor's presidency. As a student and advocate of regional approaches to conflict resolution in Africa, Dr. Adebajo pays particular attention to the role of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as well as to the leadership of Nigeria, the aspiring subregional hegemon. He is also attentive to the role of several other international actors, not least the United States, the United Nations, and the Organization of African Unity (OAU). In keeping with the IPA's focus on policy-relevant research, this inquiry is rich in lessons for the United Nations, the OAU, ECOWAS, African and other governments, and civil society activists (both Liberian and international). This story is both comprehensive and succinct, representing a tour de force of a conflict much studied but little understood.

We are particularly happy that Professor Amos Sawyer, the only (but very) distinguished recent president of Liberia, has contributed to this volume . . .

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