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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:United States foreign policy and the second Liberian civil war
Author:Kieh (Jr.), George KlayISNI
Periodical:African journal of international affairs = Revue africaine des affaires internationales (ISSN 0850-7902)
Geographic terms:Liberia
United States
Subjects:civil wars
foreign policy
peacekeeping operations
Abstract:This article examines US foreign policy towards Liberia during the second civil war in the country. About three years after the end of its first civil war in 1996, Liberia was again plunged into war, when Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), a group of rebels, attacked the country from neighbouring Guinea. The efforts by the Taylor regime to repel the attack occasioned a full-scale war. Initially, the war was confined to the western and north-western regions of the country. But by early 2003, LURD forces had advanced to the outskirts of Monrovia, the capital city. During the first four years of the war, the United States displayed a nonchalant attitude, because Liberia was no longer of any strategic value to the US. Also, given the adversarial relationship between the Taylor regime and Washington, the latter had no empathy for the former. However, amid the escalation of the war and its attendant adverse consequences, especially the death of hundreds of civilians, ECOWAS, the AU, the EU, the UN and various actors within the American domestic setting, including Liberian diaspora groups, pressured the Bush administration to join efforts to end the carnage. Consequently, the Bush administration shifted its policy to engagement. After an ECOWAS-brokered agreement that led to the resignation of President Taylor and his subsequent exile to Nigeria, the US intervened by supporting ECOWAS' peacekeeping operation. Against this backdrop, the article examines the nature and dynamics of American intervention in the second Liberian civil war, the impact of the American intervention, and the emerging trajectory of US-Liberia relations in the post-Taylor era. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French [Journal abstract]