Libmonster ID: U.S.-1340
Author(s) of the publication: T. S. DENISOVA


Candidate of Historical Sciences Institute of Africa, Russian Academy of Sciences


Keywords: ECOWAS, economic integration, political conflicts, regional security, peacekeeping missions, ECOMOG

Treaty (the "Lagos Agreement") The Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS) was signed on 28 May 1975. Currently, the organization consists of 15 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo (see map). Since the 1990s, the main activity of ECOWAS has been to participate in the resolution of military and political conflicts in the West African region.

The establishment of ECOWAS took place during a period of rapid growth in the Nigerian economy. 1 That is why Nigeria, the largest (by population, more than 190 million people) country in West Africa, which in the 1970s experienced an "oil boom" and received huge revenues from the export of "black gold", was the initiator, main sponsor and driving force of integration, and Nigerian leaders set out to solve an ambitious task strengthening the country's status as a regional (and in the future - continental) leader.

It is to Nigeria's credit that during the entire period of ECOWAS's operation, despite the gradual decline in oil revenues and periodic economic downturns, the country provided more than 30% of the organization's budget, as well as provided substantial military-technical and material assistance to other member States of the Community, in particular, provided preferential supplies of crude oil to them and petroleum products, sponsored political reforms, provided humanitarian aid, and sent specialists to work in various sectors of the economy.2

Among the most significant financial and economic projects of ECOWAS, which have not yet been implemented for the most part, we can mention the attempt to create a "second" West African currency zone (Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone), which in the future would merge with the" West African franc zone " (CFA), and the construction of which has begun the Lagos-Accra railway line with branches to Abidjan and Dakar.

In 1990, the "ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme" was formally approved, which provided for the gradual elimination of customs duties. By 2001, duties on raw materials and semi-finished products were abolished, a common customs nomenclature was created, and free movement of labor was achieved.

However, more effective integration at the regional level is hindered by the entry of a number of West African States into other groupings. Thus, the French-speaking countries of the region (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo) and the Lusophone Guinea-Bissau, which joined them, are members of the Economic and Monetary Union of West African Countries, which has been operating a duty-free trade regime since 1996, which does not apply only to agricultural products and aircraft 3.

The members of this union have consistently resisted more extensive economic integration within the framework of ECOWAS, primarily because of their orientation in all spheres of life towards France, which, as a former metropolis, continues to provide them with significant financial and military-political support, as well as because of the reluctance of the Ivory Coast countries that dominate the Union'Ivorian and Senegalese countries - to have Nigeria as a regional leader.

But these are subjective reasons for slowing down integration. Meanwhile, there are a number of objective reasons why virtually no economic projects within the framework of ECOWAS have been implemented.

The Community was created and operated in conditions of extremely low level of economic development of most countries in the region, monocultural and, in general, the same commodity structure of exports, and noticeable political disagreements between the leaders of the partner countries. These and other disjunctive factors often determined the formal nature of integration processes and the low effect of creating free trade zones.

In turn, civil wars and political conflicts that periodically occurred in individual countries and negatively affected both the security of the region as a whole and the integration processes, predetermined the gradual shift of the center of gravity of ECOWAS activities from the economic to the military-political sphere.

In the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s, some West African countries experienced civil wars and conflicts characterized by high levels of violence and brutality; the collapse of State structures and anarchy; and an economic downturn caused, among other things, by the influx of refugees who settle on the territory of their host State and put great pressure on it. the economy.

In the mid-1990s, the American researcher Robert Kaplan even predicted the "end of the world" for the countries of West Africa.4 More recent events have shown that his predictions have proved to be correct.-

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The results were largely premature, but at that time it might have seemed that the apocalypse had indeed arrived in Liberia and Sierra Leone. It was to resolve the military-political crises in these two countries that the ECOWAS military contingents were formed, which later participated in peacekeeping activities in Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast and Mali.


In December 1989, the First Civil War broke out in Liberia, the main causes of which, like most African conflicts, were the struggle for power and privileges, access to natural resources, tribal contradictions, and personal ambitions of leaders. Almost 100 thousand people were killed in clashes between armed groups, as well as between them and government forces, and more than 1 million became refugees.5

As early as the beginning of 1990, the heads of the ECOWAS member States addressed the warring parties - the Government of S. Dow and armed rebel groups, especially the leader of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), led by Ch. Taylor - with a call for an immediate cease-fire, which was refused. At the 13th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Community, held in Banjul (Gambia) from 28 to 30 May 1990, the ECOWAS Permanent Mediation Committee (ACC) was formed at the initiative of Nigeria, which included the leaders of the Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Togo. Among the tasks of the authority were to analyze the crisis situation in Liberia and organize negotiations between the warring parties with a view to signing a ceasefire agreement.

In July, ECOWAS called for the start of peace talks between the Government and the APFL, but Ch. Taylor made it a prerequisite for the beginning of the dialogue to leave S. Dow resigns as president. On July 16-22, in Freetown, the PKK decided to intervene militarily in the conflict, and on August 7, in Banjul, it decided to establish the ECOWAS - ECOMOG peacekeeping mission.

ECOMOG's mandate included monitoring the implementation of the ceasefire agreement (if signed), assisting in the formation of an interim government of national unity - until general elections are held, preventing a humanitarian catastrophe, etc. On August 24-25, an ECOMOG contingent of 3,500 soldiers and officers from Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, the Gambia and Guinea landed at the port of Monrovia. On 12 September 1990, at a meeting in Abuja, it was decided that ECOMOG forces should adopt a "peace enforcement" strategy.6

It must be said that when deciding to send peacekeepers to Liberia, ECOWAS leaders faced a number of legal problems, primarily with contradictions between the principles of respect for sovereignty (non-interference in the affairs of another State), humanitarian intervention (if the State does not meet the basic needs of citizens), and international responsibility for security (protection of vulnerable groups). protection of civilians from war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide) and the principles of peacemaking (intervention to help warring parties resolve disputes between them). The legal situation for ECOWAS was complicated by the fact that at least two contradictory postulates were clearly spelled out in the two fundamental documents of the organization: in the Community Charter (1975) - respect for sovereignty, and in the Non - Aggression Protocol (1978) - the need to intervene in a conflict in order to prevent a threat to regional security.7

ECOWAS justified the need for intervention by the provisions of the Mutual Defence Assistance document (1981), which included a clause on the establishment and operation of the Community's armed forces. According to this document, the head of a State affected by a conflict can request assistance from ECOWAS, whose leadership has the right to initiate collective intervention in any internal armed conflict on the territory of a member State, if it could endanger peace in the region.

The document empowers Community leaders to make decisions on the expediency of military action, the deployment of peacekeeping forces, and the organization of mediation activities.8 However, in the case of Liberia, there were at least three legal obstacles to ECOWAS intervention.

First, the current (1980-1990) President of the country, S. Doe asked for help not from the organization, but from Nigeria, more precisely, from its then military leader I. Babangida, who, in turn, raised the issue with the Community.

Second, according to the UN Charter, a regional organization cannot undertake peacekeeping efforts without the approval of the Security Council. As a result, the ECOWAS contingent was deployed to Liberia in 1990, and only in October 1992, the UN, which positively assessed the activities of African peacekeepers, officially - retrospectively - approved the deployment of the mission.

Third, as did the rebel leader Ch. Taylor, who has established his authority over much of the country, and against whom, in fact, the efforts of ECOWAS were directed, few of the heads of State who sent troops to Liberia took office legally. And this requirement was also spelled out in the Non-Aggression Protocol.

Despite legal challenges and the opposition of some ECOWAS leaders to the idea of interfering in the internal affairs of its member countries, the Community has made an unprecedented decision for any economic organization to intervene in the conflict in order to resolve it.

However, neither the presence of peacekeeping contingents in Liberia, nor the signing of a number of interim ceasefire agreements, nor the establishment of buffer zones along the country's borders by ECOMOG forces to prevent arms smuggling could stop the armed clashes that continued until April 1996, when after the next "battle for Monrovia", the majority of the armed forces of the United States were able to

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Map. Member countries of ECOWAS.

the rebel groups (and by that time there were more than 20 of them) were exhausted and a relative truce was reached.

The last armistice agreement was signed in the Nigerian capital of Abuja on August 17, 1996, according to which all armed groups were to be disarmed by January 31, 1997, and general elections were to be held on May 30, 1997. The deadline was somewhat shifted: by March 14, 1997, it was announced that 30 thousand militants had surrendered their weapons, and on July 19, the first day of the war was over. Taylor won the presidential election by a large margin on 9. This date is considered the date of the end of the First Liberian War.

The most acute phase of the civil war (1991-2002) in Sierra Leone began in March 1991, when, with military and financial support, the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone began to fight in the country. The Revolutionary United Front (RUF) of Sierra Leone, led by Foday Sankoh, invaded (from the territory of Liberia) the diamond-rich south-eastern regions of the country. The Sierra Leonean militants even surpassed the Liberians in terms of brutality against the local population. The number of victims of the conflict reached 75 thousand people, approximately 1.2 million people became refugees.10

In 1994, as RUF troops began to concentrate on the approaches to the Sierra Leonean capital, Nigerian President Sani Abacha and other ECOWAS leaders decided to send ECOMOG peacekeeping contingents to Sierra Leone, consisting mainly of Nigerians and Guineans. Most of the financial costs were borne by Nigeria.

Fighting continued with more or less intensity until 1996.During this time, several governments were replaced in the country, and in 1996 presidential elections were held, which were won by A. T. Kabba, who concluded a peace agreement with RUF leaders in December of the same year. However, starting in February 1997, the conflict began to flare up again, on May 25, a military coup took place in the country, Kabba was overthrown, went into exile in Conakry, and the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) led by Major J. P. Koroma came to power.

Kabba from abroad continued to struggle for power. ECOMOG peacekeeping forces entered Sierra Leone in the fall of 1997 to stop the carnage and restore the legitimately elected President to his post. In March 1998, Kabba returned to Freetown. In 1999, a United Nations peacekeeping force was deployed in Sierra Leone to help African peacekeepers, but minor clashes continued for several more years. It was not until January 18, 2002, that Kabbah declared the end of the war11.

In 2002, political conflict erupted in Ivory Coast when a military group led by Robert Gayi mutinied in September against the Government of Laurent Gbagbo. Military support for the legally elected President (in 2000) was provided by France, whose troops were joined by the ECOWAS armed forces. The leaders of a number of member States expressed their absolute rejection of all actions leading to an unconstitutional change of power.12

On 29 September 2002, ECOWAS, then chaired by Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, convened an emergency meeting in Accra to prepare the ground for peace talks. Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Togo formed a contact group that, together with the African Union (AU), sought to facilitate dialogue between the rebels and the Ivorian Government. Their efforts, however, were met with resistance from L. Gbagbo, who feared that the possible signing of an agreement with the rebels would legitimize their position as a full party to the negotiations.

In the autumn, the ECOWAS Executive Secretary, Ibn Shambas, met with Gbagbo and leaders of the Ivorian Patriotic Movement (MPCI). As a result, a ceasefire agreement was signed in Abidjan on 17 October 2002. On 1 November 2002, under the auspices of ECOWAS, another agreement was concluded in Lome, Togo, to resolve political disputes between the two countries.-

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disagreements between the MPC and the government. But the rebels continued to push for Gbagbo's resignation, a constitutional review and new elections. In turn, the president demanded the disarmament of the Movement 13.

The Lomé Agreement provided for the deployment of ECOWAS and French forces in the country and the creation of a buffer zone between the warring parties. As the agreements only resulted in a temporary cessation of hostilities, rather than a resolution to the crisis, in January 2003, some 1,500 soldiers of the ECOWAS Mission in Côte d'Ivoire (MIEKKI), along with a French contingent of 3,8 thousand, were deployed to the country to maintain a fragile truce. Although initially severely short of material resources and forced to join the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) on 4 April 2004, MIEKKI has made a significant contribution to the maintenance of relative peace in the country.14

MIEKKI's success, although limited, was attributed not only to the rapid deployment of troops, but also to the impartiality of the mission, achieved through constant communication with all parties to the conflict. However, a more or less solid peace agreement was signed only in the spring of 2007.

On 28 November 2010, another presidential election was held in Côte d'Ivoire, resulting in an acute political crisis and armed conflict, as former President L. Gbagbo refused to hand over power to opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara, who, according to the Independent Electoral Commission, won the most votes in the second round15.

ECOWAS quickly intervened in the conflict. The Presidents of Benin, Cape Verde and Sierra Leone participated in the Community's diplomatic mission. Their task was to convince Gbagbo to cede the presidency to Ouattara, who was recognized as the winner by the international community. If the mission failed, ECOWAS threatened Gbagbo with a forceful displacement.16

I must say that the diplomatic mission failed, the armed forces of France and the UN intervened in the conflict, which in April 2011 launched air strikes on Gbagbo's positions in Abidjan, and on April 11, the former president was captured by French special forces and handed over to Ouattara's supporters. In November 2011, he was taken to The Hague, where he was tried by the International Criminal Court.

Drawing on its experience in peacekeeping missions in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d'Ivoire (2002-2003), ECOWAS intervened in February 2005 to prevent the unconstitutional transfer of power from the father (Gnassingbe Eyadema) to the son (Faure Gnassingbe). By threatening sanctions and military intervention, Community leaders managed to force Faure to step down, and the Speaker of the National Assembly took over the presidency. However, Faure still became president as a result of the elections held in May of the same year. Although the preventive intervention of ECOWAS in Togo was not intended to prevent a civil war, but rather to prevent an illegal transition of power, it nevertheless demonstrated once again the Community's determination to promote peace and security in the region.

In February 2010, ECOWAS troops were deployed to Niger, where the situation escalated dramatically after a military coup overthrew President Mamadou Tanja.

In other words, the promotion of good governance, the constitutional transfer of power, and the prevention of political destabilization are becoming part of the overall ECOWAS strategy for regional security.

In 2012, ECOWAS intervened in , where a military coup took place on March 22, and later Tuaregs and Islamists used the resulting political chaos to separate the northern part of the country and form the self-proclaimed Republic of Azawad. On 2 April 2012, the Community announced the immediate entry into force of diplomatic, economic and financial sanctions against Mali. The sanctions were lifted on April 8 after the leader of the military government, Amadou Sanogo, agreed to transfer power to the head of the National Assembly.

From the very beginning, ECOWAS has called for military intervention in the Malian conflict. At the end of June 2012, the ECOWAS summit decided to rapidly deploy a military mission to the country. The African Union supported this decision, and ECOWAS appealed to the UN Security Council for approval of the regional initiative.

However, the Security Council only "took note" of the request of ECOWAS and the AU to give them a mandate to conduct a military operation. Members of the Security Council requested additional information on the objectives, means and procedures of the proposed deployment of the mission.

Only after the appeal of the Malian authorities to the UN and the EU did the UN Security Council give preliminary consent to the military operation. December 20, 2012 The Security Council authorized the deployment of an International Mission under the African leadership to support Mali (AFISMA, 6 thousand people) in Mali. fighters) to liberate the north of the country from Islamic extremists.

On January 17, 2013, Nigeria began deploying air and ground units to Mali. A week later, a Burkini contingent of 160 people arrived. Benin, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo also sent their soldiers. Nigerian General Abdulkadir Shehu became the commander of AFISMA.

However, the situation in the country continued to escalate, and since February 11, 4 thousand soldiers from France began to conduct military operations together with ECOWAS soldiers. On July 1, 2013, a ceremony was held in Bamako to transfer control from AFISMA to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA, 11.2 thousand people). military personnel and 1,440 police officers)18.On 28 July 2013, presidential elections were held in Mali under the control of peacekeepers, resulting in the election of Ibrahim Boubacar Keita as Head of State.


Of course, the role of ECOWAS in resolving conflicts in the region cannot be underestimated.

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Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire and Mali, where the Community has contributed significantly to the end of hostilities and the stabilization of the internal political situation. At the same time, African peacekeeping has shown deep contradictions within the organization's leadership, which could not but affect the progress and results of peacekeeping missions.

So, for example, questions arise: why did the number of civilian casualties and human rights violations even increase during the stay of peacekeepers in conflict zones? Why did the "separation of the parties" last for years instead of several months: in Liberia (during the first Liberian war) - 6 years, in Sierra Leone-8, in the first Ivorian conflict - 5? Only in the second Ivorian and Malian conflicts did this take less time, but full-scale UN missions and French troops were deployed, effectively pushing the Africans into the background.

ECOMOG in Liberia has been affected by a number of factors from the very beginning. First of all, this was the first experience of African regional peacekeeping: before that, it was carried out under the auspices of a continental organization - the African Union. The fact that the contingents began to deploy just a week after the decision to enter them was made meant that not only the soldiers, but also the unit commanders, who also represented different countries, had different training and had different military traditions behind them, did not have time (if at all planned) to receive a thorough briefing on how to enter them. They did not know how to behave in the host country , nor did they realize the true goals of the mission, except that it was necessary to "stop the war"by any means. However, the ways to achieve these goals were not clearly formulated.

The very process of making a decision on sending a mission has already shown the degree of disagreement within the Community and the fact that real regional integration is a matter of the distant future. So, if Nigeria called for military intervention in the conflict, then Cote d'Ivoire was strongly opposed. Nigeria's desire to play the role of "the main regional peacekeeper" outraged the then Ivorian President. Houphouet-Boigny, who called Nigeria a "regional gendarme" 19. As a result, Anglophone states (Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone), which were the main economic partners of the government of S. Dow, and the only francophone country Guinea, an old enemy of Ivory Coast, sent their contingents to Liberia. Moreover, in response to the Nigerian initiative, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso have stepped up their support for the rebel Taylor National Patriotic Front. A group of Ivorians and about 700 Burkini soldiers fought in the Front 20. In other words, from the very beginning, some ECOWAS member States found themselves on opposite sides of the front line.

The process of peacemaking has become highly dependent on the personal relationships between the main "participants in the drama" - the leaders of the member countries of the Community.

So, S. Doe came to power in Liberia as a result of a military coup in 1980. Deposed President W. Tolbert was discovered and destroyed in his office, and 13 members of his government were court-martialed, charged with corruption, and executed on the capital's beach on April 22, 1980.

One of the victims of the coup was W. Tolbert's son Adolphus Tolbert, who was married to Desiree Delafosse, the goddaughter of Houphouet-Boigny, who became an implacable enemy of the Liberian president.21 After the death of her husband, Desiree moved to Burkina Faso, where she joined the inner circle of Blaise Compaore (who, by the way, was married to another goddaughter of Houphouet-Boigny - Chantal), then the commander of an elite parachute unit, and later, on October 15, 1987, became president of the country, replacing her friend Thomas Sankara, who was killed in during the military coup.

It is interesting that Compaore turned to the Liberian political emigrants who were in Burkina Faso - opponents of Dow and future active participants in the Liberian events - for help in overthrowing T. Sankara. At the beginning of 1987, Ch. Taylor. It was Compaore who helped Taylor establish contacts with then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who agreed to fund and arm the APFL22. The nature of interpersonal relationships determined the support of regional leaders for one or another side in the conflict.

A similar situation developed during the first conflict in Ivory Coast. L. Gbagbo considered Burkina Faso as a party to the conflict, because at one time he was a fierce opponent of Houphouet-Boigny, who died in 1993, with whom B. Compaore was connected by "dynastic" ties. Gbagbo therefore rejected all mediation efforts involving the Burkini leader.23

In the Liberian version, the ECOWAS intervention had complex-explicit and implicit, noble and self - serving-motives, which could not but prevent ECOMOG forces from maintaining neutrality. There is no doubt that many Community leaders have sought to act in ways that, in legal terms, "protect the most vulnerable groups of the population from crimes against humanity." But the main motive for military intervention remained the personal interest of a number of regional leaders in it.

First of all, the exodus of almost a million people from Liberia in the first half of the 1990s, as well as the presence of fighters from various countries in the region in the ranks of the APFL, caused West African heads of State to fear that the conflict would spread to other territories. 24 Most of all, Nigerian President I. Babangida was concerned, who in April 1990 I didn't fall victim to a coup d'etat.

Nigeria supplied Dow with weapons even as Monrovia was already surrounded by anti-government forces. In response, Taylor, who accused Babangida of supporting the Liberian dictator, ordered all Nigerian citizens who could be found to be taken hostage.25 Thus, the Nigerians have an additional reason to intervene in the conflict.

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In addition, I. Babangidu and S. The Dow's relationship was not only friendly, but also business-like: since the late 1980s, they jointly owned a controlling stake in the Liberian National Petroleum Company (LNOC), which received a monopoly on the import of Nigerian oil and its resale to the state-owned Liberian Oil Refining Company (LNOC), which exported petroleum products to Sierra Leone, the Gambia, Senegal, Togo and even Nigeria 26.

The Nigerian government has paid off Liberia's debts to foreign creditors, presenting it as a gesture of "pan-African solidarity". Dow and Babangida had stakes in the charter capital of one of the largest Monrovian banks. Liberia became the center of business activity of the Nigerian President, who paid, in particular, for the establishment of the I. Babangida School of International Diplomacy at the University of Liberia, whose staff, including eight Nigerian professors, was paid by the Nigerian Government in hard currency. The new road linking Liberia and Sierra Leone was named the IBB International Highway, i.e. Ibrahim Badamashi Babangida 27.

Babangida certainly feared losing his "Liberian" revenues and businesses if Taylor won, and that Liberia would become a springboard for destabilizing Nigeria by providing weapons to Nigerian opposition groups.

Thus, it was no secret that the Nigerian leader, in initiating the intervention, intended to defend his interests and his Liberian friend. At the same time, Dow's dictatorial ways, brutality, and lack of any serious public support were no secret. Therefore, just six months after the start of the war, Liberians, who were in constant fear for their lives, if they did not want Taylor's victory, they were completely indifferent to the fate of their president. The actual collapse of the state, the war of all against all, and the high level of violence carried out by all parties to the conflict also predetermined the attitude of the peacekeepers, who also began to protect "their own interests".

Of course, one of the main problems of African peacekeeping was the lack of funding and logistical support. From the very beginning, ECOMOG soldiers were worse equipped than the armed factions in Liberia and Sierra Leone. According to ECOWAS rules, the financial costs of maintaining contingents must be borne by the sending countries, and this was extremely burdensome for them, although the main costs were usually borne by Nigeria.

Large funds were allocated for the mission in Liberia: over five years (1990-1995), the Nigerian government spent $4 billion on the operation, and US assistance to ECOMOG by 1995 exceeded $30 million. However, Nigerian ECOMOG soldiers received an average of $15 a day, and even then very irregularly. At the same time, wounded soldiers placed in a military hospital in Lagos were forced to pay for their own treatment.28 In other words, we can speak with confidence about the corruption component of the mission's funding.

In the absence of funds, the military cannot perform its duties effectively. Moreover, non-payment of military salaries not only weakens the morale of the troops, but also encourages peacekeepers to engage in actions incompatible with their status and role. Fighters are forced to resort to "expropriating" the property of the local population in order to feed themselves, as the rebels did in the areas they control.

In addition, fuel, equipment and medical supplies that were supplied for the mission's needs and were constantly in short supply were sold on the market. In addition, the peacekeepers formed alliances with rebel leaders and worked with them to exploit Liberia's natural resources. ECOMOG's control of the seaports of Monrovia and Buchanan allowed soldiers and officers to get their share of the profits from the rubber exports established by Ch. Taylor 29. Unsurprisingly, many of the mission's officers were interested in continuing the conflict.

It must be said that when, after the death of Doe in September 1990, military actions for political reasons almost stopped, giving way to clashes for control of deposits, plantations, logging, etc., all armed factions threw their forces into the development of the military economy. Diamonds, gold, rubber, timber, looted property, scrap metal, palm oil, coffee, cocoa and, of course, weapons and drugs-all became the subject of purchase and sale. ECOMOG created its own "trading schemes" and competed with Taylor's NPFL for control of the smuggling channels.

So significant was the volume of trade in cars, scrap metal, and other goods "expropriated" by ECOMOG soldiers and officers that Monrovians called it Every Car Or Moving Object Gone (ECOMOG - "Every car, and in general everything that can move, is stolen")30. Moreover, peacekeepers sold weapons to fighters of all conflicting parties and armed factions, thus preventing the conflict from dying down.

In Sierra Leone, ECOMOG peacekeepers were also accused of supplying weapons to all parties to the conflict. 31

The problems remained the lack of preparation of peacekeepers for the guerrilla techniques of the insurgents, i.e. for their unexpected attacks and rapid withdrawal, and the multinational nature of the military leadership, which predetermined misunderstandings and inconsistencies of actions and the emergence of frequent conflicts between middle-level commanders. Ineffective leadership was demonstrated, for example, during the September 1990 militant takeover of President Doe directly at ECOMOG's headquarters in the port of Monrovia, which seriously undermined the credibility of the peacekeepers who failed to rescue the Head of State.


The work of ECOMOG highlighted the difficulties faced by any regional peacekeeping mission before the ceasefire. Accepting a re-

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Decisions on the deployment of peacekeeping forces are often reflexive and do not involve the consent of all parties to the conflict. ECOMOG ignored the principle of impartiality and often violated the basic rules of peacekeeping, including the use of force only in self-defense.

During crisis management, ECOWAS leaders often supported one of the parties for personal, economic or political reasons. Thus, the harsh stance taken by the Babangida administration towards Taylor in the first phase of the Liberian war, and the apparent support of ECOMOG contingents for anti-Taylor forces, cost the mission the participation of many ECOWAS States, especially French-speaking ones. In some cases, even Ghana, Nigeria's main ally, expressed similar concerns and threatened to withdraw from the mission.

Nigeria has certainly played a major role in the regional initiative, both militarily and financially. Without her participation, ECOMOG simply could not have taken place. If we compare the activities of ECOWAS with other regional organizations (Central African Monetary and Economic Community, East African Community, etc.), whose leaders did not have the political will to participate in conflict resolution in their member countries-Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, etc., we can highly appreciate the role of Nigeria as the leader of ECOWAS.

Peace and security will not be achieved if there is no concerted effort to successfully disarm militants and integrate them into society. Even the holding of elections (in Sierra Leone in 1996, Liberia in 1997, and Cote d'Ivoire in 2000), which were recognized as fair and transparent, did not lead to the stabilization of the internal political situation in these countries due to the lack of a clear plan for a peaceful settlement. In Sierra Leone, it was only after the successful disarmament of more than 50,000 combatants that the basis for ensuring the peace that still prevails in the country emerged.

Inadequate funding for ECOMOG has undermined the mission's peacekeeping efforts. Peacekeeping requires huge financial costs, so in order to succeed, not only Member States must meet their financial obligations, but also the international community must provide material support. This will avoid a situation where poor countries take on the financial burden of peacekeeping duties at the expense of solving internal problems. Being unprepared and unable to fill resource gaps puts the mission at risk of failure, which means that in the future, regional organizations should carefully assess their capabilities before taking concrete action.

Meanwhile, the decision to establish ECOMOG, despite all its problems and shortcomings, has been one of the main achievements of ECOWAS since its inception. The Community has proven that it is ready to play an independent role in international diplomacy and conflict resolution, and this is an important step forward in the development of the organization.

1 Nigeria. Reference and monographic publication. Moscow, IAfr RAS, 2013, p. 185. (2013. Nigeria. Reference book. Institute for Asian and African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences. M.) (in Russian)

Alii W.O. 2 The Role of Nigeria in Regional Security Policy. Abuja. 2012, p. 12.

3 Ibid., p. 67 - 68.

Kaplan R. 4 The Coming Anarchy // Atlantic Monthly. 1994, N 27(2), p. 44 - 75.

5 See for more details: Denisova T. S. Afrikanskie konfliktsii i religionnye ritualy (na primere grazhdanskikh voyny v Liberii) [African Conflicts and Religious Rituals (on the example of Civil wars in Liberia]. 2012. N 10, с. 45 - 52. (Denisova T.S. 2012. Afrikanskie konflikty i religioznye ritualy (na primere grazdanskikh voyn v Liberii // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 10) (in Russian); Conflicts in Africa: causes, genesis and problems of settlement (ethnopolitical and social aspects). Moscow, IAfr RAS, 2013, pp. 284-303. (2013. Konflikty v Afrike: prichiny, genezis i problemy uregulirovaniya (etnopoliticheskie i sotsialnye aspekty. M.) (in Russian)

Arthur P. 6 ECOWAS and Regional Peacekeeping Integration in West Africa: Lessons for the Future // Africa Today. 2010, N 57(2), p. 10 - 12.

7 Peace Support Operations in the New Global Environment: The Nigerian Perspecrive. Abuja. 2009, p. 23.

8 Ibid., p. 24.


10 Africa. Entsiklopediya. M., 2010, pp. 187-188 (Africa. Entsiklopediya. M., 2010) (in Russian).

Hill J.N.C. 11 Thoughts of Home: Civil Military Relations and the Conduct of Nigeria's Peacekeeping Forces // Journal of Military Ethics. 2009. Vol. 8, N 4, p. 290 - 291.

12 Three reaffirm support for Cote d'lvoire government // Daily Graphic (Abidjan). 2002, September 23, p. 1 - 3.

Dadson E. 13 Examining the Role of Third-Party Mediation in Cote d'lvoire's Conflict: Peacemakers or Spoilers? // Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre's Paper N 24, September 2008, p. 4.


15 See for more details: Kolobov O. A., Osminina M. A. Presidential elections in Ivory Coast / / Asia and Africa Today. 2011, N 5 (Kolobov O. A., Osminina M. A. 2011. Prezidentskie vibory v Cote d'lvoire // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. No. 5) (in Russian); Filippov V. R. Cote d'Ivoire: Factors of the electoral process // Asia and Africa Today. 2011, N 5. (2011. Filippov V.R. 2011. Kot-d'Ivuar: factory elektoralnogo protsessa // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 5) (in Russian)


17 See for more details: Filippov V. R. Elections in Mali: what to hope for and what to fear? // Asia and Africa today. 2012, N 3. (2012. Filippov V.R. 2012. Vybory v Mali: na chto nadeyatsya i chego opasatsya? // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 3) (in Russian)


Adibe C. 19 The Liberian Conflict and the ECOWAS-UN Partnership // Third World Quarterly. 1997, N 16(4), p. 473.

20 Compaore and Regional Security // West Africa. 1994, N 4026, p. 2022.

Youboty J. 21 Liberian Civil War: A Graphic Account. Philadelphia. 1993, p. 59 - 61.

Huband M. 22 The Liberian Civil War. L. 1998, p. 92.

Dadson E. 23 Op. cit., p. 11.

Brehun L. 24 Liberia: The War of Horror. Accra. 1991, p. 48.

25 Ibidem.

Ellis S. 26 The Mask of Anarchy: The Destruction of Liberia and The Religious dimension of an African Civil War. N.Y. 1999, p. 160.

Unoke E. 27 The Untold Story of Liberian War. Enugu. 1993, p. 98.

Arinze J. 28 They Looted my Country // Tell (Lagos). July 3 1995, p. 24 - 27.

Tapson B. 29 Government Exports Seized Rubber // The Philadelphia Inquirer. July 12 1995.

Ellis S. 30 Liberators or Looters? // Focus on Africa. L. 1994. N 5, p. 14.

Arinze J. 31 Op. cit., p. 27.


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