“Every Car Or Moving Object Gone” – The ECOMOG Intervention in Liberia

by Christopher Tuck

Abstract

This article examines the ECOMOG intervention in Liberia in terms of its usefulness as a model for future African peacekeeping operations. Whilst the holding of elections in 1997 and the subsequent withdrawal of ECOMOG clearly indicate that the operation was not a failure in the way that, for example, Somalia was, this article argues that its success did not lie in its achieving answers to perennial peacekeeping problems. In terms of its intent, method and outcome, the intervention was deeply flawed and its eventual success lay in compromises made by Nigeria in the face of ECOMOG’s inability to produce the desired end-state at an acceptable cost.

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Christopher Tuck is a lecturer at the Joint Services Command and Staff College (JSCSC) in the United Kingdom. He has previously been a lecturer at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and a researcher with a foreign policy lobbying group.