Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



International Relations

First Advisor

Jean Krasno

Second Advisor

Kimberly Gamble-Payne


ECOWAS ECOMIG United Nations Peacekeeping Operations The Gambia Liberia ECOMOG


The African continent has significantly suffered from a great number of civil wars and armed conflicts since the beginning of the independence era in late 1960s. On May 28, 1975, the creation of a regional The African continent has significantly suffered from a great number of civil wars and armed conflicts since organization in West Africa called the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) took place. The intent was to achieve "collective self-sufficiency" for its member states by building a full economic and trading union. In the late 1990s, the maintenance of peace and security in the region was added to the ECOWAS mission statement. This thesis focuses on the important collaboration between the United Nations (UN) and the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) in resolving conflicts on the African continent. This subject is quite relevant today and this thesis examines the history and political achievements of the cooperation between the UN and ECOWAS in two cases, Liberia and The Gambia where both organizations were involved.

I argue here that while the relationship between the United Nations and ECOWAS has developed over time, the UN has been slow in responding to crises in West Africa. I use Liberia as a case in point. However, I also argue that the UN has begun to realize the need to collaborate with this regional organization as demonstrated in my second case of The Gambia. I believe that preventive action combined with military deployment, if necessary, under the auspices of the UN, the African Union (AU) and ECOWAS can ensure peace, security, civilian human rights, rule of law and democracy in West Africa. The joint actions of these international organizations should be formalized in the form of a joint framework, based in West Africa.


Free and democratic elections have been essential element of peace agreements. Every year, free and democratic elections are held in West Africa as a number of countries organize local or even national elections. Very often, however, the political transition between incoming and outgoing governments can lead to an outbreak of violence, calling for an intervention of peacekeepers from ECOWAS and the UN.



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