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International Organizations and Civil Wars in Africa: The Liberian Case

  • George Klay KiehJr.
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Abstract

The late 1980s witnessed the eruption of a “new wave of civil wars” in Africa. Beginning with Somalia in 1988, the phenomenon spread like an epidemic to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and several other states across the continent. Interestingly, the “new wave” ensued amid the “final moment” of the “Cold War,” and its associated superpower rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States. And as Edmond Keller observes, “… [this] had significant implications for African regional security.” 1 The core ramification was that a vacuum was created in terms of conflict management. That is, with the end of the “Cold War,” and the attendant superpower retrenchment, Africa lacked the agencies to manage its civil conflicts. Amid this conundrum, African regional (the Organization of African Unity now the African Union) and subregional organizations (Economic Community of West African States, Southern African Development Community, etc.) were catapulted into new and unfamiliar roles as “conflict managers.” Subsequently, the United Nations, amid its meteorite rise as the new “global conflict manager,” assumed the role as the “suzerain” for the management of civil conflicts in Africa. These twin developments have led to an emergent partnership between the United Nations and African regional and subregional organizations for the management of the continent’s civil conflicts.

Keywords

Economic Community Peace Accord Southern African Development Community Transitional Government Security Council Resolution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Edmond Keller, “African Conflict Management and the New World Order,” IGCC Policy Paper #13 (La Jolle, CA: Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, 1995), 1.Google Scholar
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© Jack Mangala 2010

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  • George Klay KiehJr.

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