ROLE OF NIGERIA IN MULTILATERAL PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS IN AFRICA

Background to the Study The last twenty-five years have witnessed the intensification of intrastate conflicts in Africa. The region’s leaders have tried to resolve these conflicts using various traditional conflict resolution mechanisms. These mechanisms have included commissions of mediation, ad-hoc committees, mediation by African Heads of State and the use of the Chieftaincy Institution. Recent conflicts in the region have, however, revealed that the use of these mechanisms alone has not helped much in resolving the conflicts and preventing the outbreak of violence. Since 1960, Nigeria has, through multilateral organizations such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) resorted to employing military intervention forces as a major part of its conflict resolution mechanisms. These interventions have created an atmosphere conducive for diplomatic means and the traditional conflict resolution means to be employed to resolve conflicts in the region. Generally, some of the peace initiatives that Nigeria have been involved in includes: Congo (ONUC) 1960-1964, Battalion operations; New Guinea (UNSF) 1962-1963, Military Observers; Tanzania (Bilateral agreement) 1964, Battalion operations; India-Pakistan (UNIPOM) 1965-1966, Military Observers; Lebanon (UNIFIL) 1978-1983, Battalion operations and Staff Officers; Chad (HARMONY I, bilateral agreement) 1981-1982, Battalion operations and Staff Officers; Chad (HARMONY II, OAU) 1982-1983, Brigade operations; Iran-Iraq (UNIIMOG) 1988-1991, Military Observers; Liberia (ECOMOG) 1990- Division (-) operations; Iraq-Kuwait (UNIKOM) 1991, Military Observers; Angola (UNAVEM II) 1991-1992, Military Observers; Sierra Leone (NATAG) 1991, Training Team; Angola (UNAVEM III) 1992-1995, Detachment; Namibia (UNTAG) 1989-1990, Military Observers; Western Sahara (MINURSO) 1991, Military Observers; Cambodia (UNTAC) 1992- 1993, Military Observers; Somalia (UNOSOM) 1992-1994, Battalion operations and Staff Officers; Former Republic of Yugoslavia (UNPROFOR) 1992, Battalion operations and Staff Officers; Mozambique (ONUMOZ) 1992 Military Observers; Rwanda (UNAMIR) 1993, Battalion operations; Gambia (NATAG) 1993, Training Team; Aouzo Strip (UNASOG) 1994, Military Observers; Israel (UNTSO) 1995, Military Observers; Liberia – ECOMOG; Sierra Leone – UNMIL; and Dafur peace initiative. The end of the Cold War witnessed intensification of intrastate conflicts in the West African subregion. Prior to this era, the West African subregional body, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), had used traditional conflict resolution mechanisms to resolve conflicts. These notwithstanding, with the outbreak of conflict in Liberia in November 1989, ECOWAS employed ECOWAS Ceasefire Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), a military intervention force, in August 1990 as another conflict resolution mechanism. The endstate of ECOMOG was to stop the carnage, destruction of property, and create

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