Reinventing Peacekeeping in Africa: Conceptual and Legal Issues in ECOMOG Operations

Hardback
The euphoric cries of a peaceful and more dynamic new world order , which followed the end of the Cold War have been silenced by the increased intensity of local conflicts around the world. The humanitarian crises resulting from these conflicts have attracted greater international attention. Perhaps even more tragic is the failure of the international community to find early effective response to these conflicts. The intra-state conflicts in Africa alone have claimed over one million lives since 1990. On the international scene these internal conflicts have created new challenges for the UN, whose efforts at dealing with them have produced mixed results, whilst international policy makers, the military and academics are faced with difficult questions. Can traditional peacekeeping be stretched to accommodate this class of conflict? What is the legal basis for these operations? Attempts to answer these questions at the conceptual level have led to the development of concepts such as second generation peacekeeping, wider peacekeeping, peace support operations and strategic peacekeeping. It has emerged that there is no common view on an effective and realistic set of tools to manage these crises. Perhaps the most significant point to arise from the differing conceptual views presently is that an effective approach and sound legal basis have not been found for dealing with recalcitrant internal conflicts in far away regions, which are not high on the strategic considerations of the great powers. This book reconsiders the role of the UN and regional organisations such as ECOWAS in Africa. It examines the response to the civil war in Liberia, which served as a precursor to the international response to the crisis in Sierra Leone. In drawing some of its conclusions, the book relies on the testimonies of many of the soldiers who formed the core of the military operations in these difficult conflict areas in West Africa.