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Liberia's Civil War: Nigeria, ECOMOG, and Regional Security in West Africa

Adekeye Adebajo
Liberia's Civil War: Nigeria, ECOMOG, and Regional Security in West Africa
ISBN: 978-1-58826-052-9
ISBN: 978-1-62637-112-5
2002/285 pages
A Project of the International Peace Institute


Liberia's Civil War offers the most in-depth account available of one of the most baffling and intractable of Africa's conflicts.

Adekeye Adebajo unravels the tangled web of the conflict by addressing four questions:  Why did Nigeria intervene in Liberia and remain committed throughout the seven-year civil war? To what extend was ECOMOG's intervention shaped by Nigeria's hegemonic aspirations? What domestic, regional, and external factors prevented ECOMOG from achieving its objectives for so long? And what factors led eventually to the end of the war? In answering these questions—drawing on previously restricted ECOWAS and UN reports and numerous interviews with key actors—he sheds much-needed light on security issues in West Africa.

The concluding chapter of the book assesses the continuing insecurity in Liberia under the repressive presidency of Charles Taylor and its destabilizing effect on the entire West Africa region.


Adekeye Adebajo is professor and senior research fellow at the University of Pretoria's Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship. His numerous publications include The Curse of Berlin: Africa After the Cold War, From Global Apartheid to Global Village: Africa and the United Nations, UN Peacekeeping in Africa: From the Suez Crisis to the Sudan Conflicts, and Building Peace in West Africa: Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea-Bissau.


  • Introduction.
  • A Decade of Troubles: Master-Sergeant Samuel Doe's Liberia, 1980-1989.
  • Things Fall Apart, December 1989-August 1990.
  • Seamen from Renaissance Africa, August 1990-December 1991.
  • Annus Horribilis: The Death of Yamoussoukro, 1992.
  • The Bloody Road to Cotonou, January-July 1993.
  • The Tortuous Road to Akosombo, August 1993-August 1994.
  • The Pied Piper of Accra, September 1994-August 1995.
  • Two Weddings and a Funeral, September 1995-August 1996.
  • Farewell to Arms?: September 1996-July 1997.
  • A Warlord's Bazaar, August 1997-July 2001.
  • Conclusion.