The Liberian War Essay

4634 words - 19 pages

It's an incredible paper. One of my best. Over 20 pages Great work!The Liberian War: A Modern Humanitarian CrisisTerm PaperProfessor Barry SteinPLS 4614-29-95It is my intention in this paper to provide a historical background to the Liberian war, its historical origins, the factions involved, the refugee and displaced populations created by it across the region, and the regional and international communities reaction to it. Using the Liberian situation as a reference point I intend to then conclude with a relevant discussion of the topic of weak and failed states, modern refugee crises in and around them, and some of the tactics and policies adopted by the international community over the last 10 years in response.The Liberian political-social dilemma and war embodies much of what has become characteristic of today's weak state humanitarian crises. A country with a conflictual formation and history, having experienced a great deal of political and institutional instability, and having historical ethnic cleavages, the state of Liberia erupted in 1989 into war. As a result almost any trace of civil organization and authority has ceased to exist. The war has numerous actors and factions, persecutions and murders based on ethnic identity alone, killing and brutality directed upon civilian populations, and it has been protracted seemingly without any end.In response to these kinds of conflicts new procedures and trends have arisen among the governmental and international actors within the world community. In Liberia the intervention force called the ECOWAS -Cease Fire Monitoring Group(ECOMOG), is one such example. The Peace keeping force, made of soldiers of members of the Economic Community of West African States, intervened in 1990 to monitor the cease fire between warring factions. From the very beginning the neutrality of the force was questioned by leaders of the various warring factions. The troops were engaged by Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front for the Liberation of Liberia(NPFL) immediately upon arrival. The leaders of ECOMOG soon realized how difficult a neutral military intervention is. It is difficult for a force to maintain neutrality after getting involved in the fighting. This is something ECOMOG has done and often in an offensive position. Originally labeled as a 'Cease Fire Monitoring' group it became apparent that 'it would have to establish a cease fire by force before it could begin to monitor it'(Wippman 166).The intervention of ECOMOG forces also sparks debate about the principle of sovereignty even in a country where no authority seems to exist. Charles Taylor claimed from the start that the armed intervention was illegal and members of ECOWAS such as Cote d'ivour and Senegal were opposed to the intervention as an overstepping of the body's(ECOWAS) bounds( Adisa 220). There were also claims that the ECOMOG intervention violated the OAU's noninterference rule. In the terms of charters and mandates of organizations such...

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