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Peacekeeping in Sierra Leone: The Story of UNAMSIL

'Funmi Olonisakin
Peacekeeping in Sierra Leone: The Story of UNAMSIL
ISBN: 978-1-58826-520-3
ISBN: 978-1-58826-521-0
2007/205 pages/LC: 2007022728
Histories of UN Peace Operations/A project of the International Peace Institute
Also of interest:  Enabling Peace in Guatemala: The Story of MINUGUA by William Stanley

"Researchers interested in the civil war in Sierra Leone, or in African peacekeeping operations more generally, will find Olonisakin’s lucid, well-focused, and especially well-illustrated account of UNAMSIL operations an essential item."—Paul Richards, African Affairs

"Olonisakin sheds considerable light on the path back to peace in Sierra Leone.... The book [also] includes many of the key UN documents in a valuable appendix."—Nicolas van de Walle, Foreign Affairs


The first in a series of "inside" histories, Peacekeeping in Sierra Leone relates how a small country—one insignificant in the strategic considerations of the world powers—propelled the United Nations to center stage in a crisis that called the UN's very authority into serious question; and how the UN mission in Sierra Leone was transformed from its nadir into what is now widely considered one of the most successful peacekeeping missions in UN history.

Olonisakin's rich narrative not only illuminates the ins and outs of the UNAMSIL mission, but also reflects on its meaning for current and future peace operations in Africa and beyond.


'Funmi Olonisakin is director of the Conflict, Security, and Development Group in the School of Social Science and Public Policy at King's College London. She is also founding member of the International Governing Council of the London- and Lagos-based Centre for Democracy and Development. Her numerous publications include The Challenges of Security Sector Governance in West Africa and Reinventing Peacekeeping in Africa: Conceptual and Legal Issues in the ECOMOG Operations.


  • Foreword—Terje Rød-Larsen
  • Introduction.
  • Unattractive Terrain, Token Response.
  • Stepping up UN Engagement.
  • UNAMSIL's Midnight Hour.
  • Tangoing with Taylor.
  • A House Divided.
  • Fighting Back.
  • UNAMSIL: The Model Mission?
  • Appendixes: Chronology. Lome Peace Agreement. Selected UN Security Council Resolutions. List of Relevant UN Documents.