United Nations Observer Mission and ECOMOG Intervention in Liberia’s Peace Process

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Abstract


The Liberian civil war which began in 1989 exhibited all the manifestations and consequences of post cold-war intra-state conflict, state collapse, ethnic conflicts and political fragmentations. The late response of the United Nations at intervening in the impasse adds a new dimension when studying the Liberian question. Therefore, this article critically examines the peacekeeping efforts and role played by the United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL) and Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) during the war. The author pays particular attention to the collaboration efforts of the UNOMIL and ECOMOG in restoring peace and stability in Liberia. The article provides a historical background of the Liberian civil war which led to the deployment of the UNOMIL and ECOMOG highlighting the successes and failures of the UN and ECOWAS contingents as regards the rivalry that existed between the UNOMIL and the ECOMOG peacekeeping force in Liberia in the process of restoring peace and stability in the country. In exploring the ineffective international response in the Liberian crisis and the challenges ECOMOG faced in restoring a semblance of peace in the country, the author analyzes the views of various scholars on the subject as well as those of some participants and victims of the war granted in interviews after the war. A case study and concrete historical method is used in this study as well as reliance on interviews to study the various ramifications of the UNOMIL and ECOMOG interventions and the aftermath of the conflict. The paper concludes after a thorough and tentative research on the subject matter that the UNOMIL and ECOMOG deployment and intervention in Liberia’s civil war and the human rights abuses and the humanitarian assistance were during the conflict, in which some successes were recorded in the humanitarian arena largely due to ECOMOG’s ability to restore a semblance of order and peace which allowed international humanitarian agencies to return to Liberia. The late political response of the UN to Liberia’s crisis which was not until October 1992 impeded the effectiveness of the international response in the Liberian crisis which propelled the pivotal role that regional organizations began to play in keeping peace and ensuring security and stability on the Continent. The plethora of scientific work and publications by scholars on the Liberian question, including those of Russian academicians is indicative of the relevance of the study especially as it pertains the lessons learned from the successes and failures of the various attempts at peacekeeping in Liberia.


About the authors

Mansur Ahmed Tijjani

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Author for correspondence.
Email: mtj6010@gmail.com

PhD Student of the Department of Theory and History of International Relations, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

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