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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Eliciting Compliance from Warlords: The ECOWAS Experience in Liberia, 1990-1997
Author:Aning, Emmanuel K.ISNI
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Geographic term:Liberia
Subjects:civil wars
military intervention
Inter-African Relations
Politics and Government
Military, Defense and Arms
External links:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03056249908704397
Abstract:Contrary to the United Nations and the international community generally, ECOWAS perceived the civil war in Liberia as presenting a concrete threat to its member States and international stability and security. This article tells the story of the successful military intervention by ECOWAS in Liberia in the years 1990-1996. It provides the background to the conflict, discussing the increasing role of non-State actors and the interests of faction groups and focussing on the relative success and innovation with which these groups exploited natural resources and negotiated economic deals. The civil war in Liberia did not fit the Clausewitzian tenets of war as a continuation of diplomacy by other means, hence ECOWAS had to find specific means to elicit compliance with disarmament agreements and accords from the Liberian warlords. ECOWAS's peace efforts included the imposition of arms embargoes; a weapons buy-back programme; the disarming of private and irregular units; and the disarming of combatants. Despite the initial weaknesses in ECOWAS's demilitarization endeavours, almost a third of all combatants were disarmed. It can be argued, however, that limited and and unfinished disarmament initiatives can have destabilizing consequences not only for Nigeria, but for the region as a whole. Most faction groups resisted compliance commitments also because of scepticism concerning compliance levels from other signatories. Bibliogr., sum.