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PROJECT TOPIC- NIGERIA AND ECOMOG PEACE-KEEPING MISSION IN LIBERIA, 1989 – 1997

PROJECT TOPIC- NIGERIA AND ECOMOG PEACE-KEEPING MISSION IN LIBERIA, 1989 – 1997

 

ABSTRACT

Peacekeeping is not new to Africa. A few African nations, Nigeria inclusive, have, at one time or the other participated in peace-keeping missions in several countries, including Congo, Lebanon and Angola. The Liberian crisis of 1989 – 1997 presented a scenario unprecedented in the political history of the sub-region during which Nigeria played a crucial role. A sub-regional force, ECOMOG, was quickly put in place to stop the carnage and restore peace and stability in the country. The intervention of the Nigeria-led ECOMOG has received little or no scholarly attention. This study therefore, is an attempt to fill this gap. The approach is descriptive and analytical. The study depends largely on primary sources in the form of oral information, official reports and archival documents. These materials are supplemented by relevant secondary sources. The work is organized in six chapters. Among other things, it shows that the Nigeria-led ECOMOG mission in Liberia was hugely successful and so, a justified venture, despite the huge human and material losses Nigeria incurred. It achieved the set objectives of stopping the carnage, restoring peace and democracy in war-torn Liberia. Besides, it won for Nigeria, international recognition as a sub-regional power capable of using her might to ensure sub-regional and regional peace in Africa. The outcome is a manifestation of the fact that Nigeria has all it takes to provide leadership for collective security in the continent. It is also a proof that Africa can cope with her internal problems without recourse to undue external assistance.

 

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The idea of peacekeeping was first mooted in international politics in the 1820s by the great powers. The motive was to forestall the resurgence of
imperialist ambitions of some statesmen of Europe after the experience with Napoleon Bonaparte of France. With the Treaty of Chaumont in 1814, Austria, England, Prussia and Russia, were brought to a great alliance. The purpose was to use international force to overthrow Napoleon, prevent his dynasty from returning to power in France and to guarantee the territorial settlement proposed by the concert of powers.

Consequently, in the 1815 Quadruple Alliance, the four great powers resolved to pursue and maintain the arrangements of Chaumont, Vienna and Paris by armed force for a period of 20 years. This, it was said, was to ensure international peace and control. The Quadruple Alliance therefore contained a clause that supported the use of an international armed force to restore peace and order in the troubled nations of Europe2. However, when in 1818, Alexander of Russia floated the Treaty of Holy Alliance, demanding a general union of sovereigns or kings against revolutions, and when he wanted other kings to send allied forces to help the Spanish King subdue his revolting colonies in America, other powers led by Britain strongly opposed the project. These powers then “prevailed on the congress to disclaim the use of force in any such attempt” Castlereagh, the British representative at the Congress, diplomatically remarked that the Spanish revolution was an internal affair and should not be viewed as dangerous to other countries. England, he further explained, owed her present dynasty and constitution to an internal revolution. Castlereagh declared that Britain should not therefore, deny to other countries the same rights of changing their form of Government.

PROJECT TOPIC- NIGERIA AND ECOMOG PEACE-KEEPING MISSION IN LIBERIA, 1989 – 1997

 

By this declaration, Castlereagh had laid the basic foundation of British foreign policy in the 19th century.4 Parliamentary European states, like Britain and France, objected to the idea of a union of sovereigns for general intervention on the ground that, it was masterminded by absolute and despotic Kings for selfish purposes. Small nations equally opposed it because it was mainly directed against them. Objections to the use of a general intervention force to suppress internal revolutions led to the early abandonment of the idea. Similar disagreements amongst the Allies also led to the collapse of future congresses.

The demise of congressional government, i.e. government by alliance, gave rise to the creation of an international organization that metamorphosed into the League of Nations (in 1919) as machinery for prevention of war and aggressions5. But the League lacked the necessary executive powers to compel its members to cooperate. Collective security could not therefore succeed as a method of preventing wars unless there existed international armed force acting under an international authority capable of exacting compliance from members6.

Fortunately, the inter-war period (1918-1938) provided relative peace and the idea of a peacekeeping  force apparently lapsed into oblivion. The idea, however, resurfaced following World War II in 1939 when the Allied Forces employed it as a strategy to check undemocratic tendencies in new colonies. When peace-keeping was used on Japan in 1943, the then Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Douglas MacArthur, argued that the emphasis was on democratization so that: (a) Japan would not again constitute a danger to world peace, (b) a new Japanese Government would guard against the violation of individual rights and, (c) Japan would be assisted to develop goodsoriented economy that would be adequate for peace time7, From World War II to the formation of the United Nations Organization (UNO) in 1945, security and conflict control took the form of coalition, mediation and delegation of responsibility to the UN Secretary General. Peace was only discussed at round table conferences, and the idea of a peacekeeping force was rather seen as an ambitious project. The

PROJECT TOPIC- NIGERIA AND ECOMOG PEACE-KEEPING MISSION IN LIBERIA, 1989 – 1997

 

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