In This Review
Liberia's Civil War: Nigeria, ECOMOG, and Regional Security in West Africa
Building Peace in West Africa: Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea-Bissau
These informative and well-researched studies look at the evolution of one of the world's first subregional security mechanisms, ECOMOG, the ceasefire-monitoring group of the Economic Community of West African States.
In the first book, Adebajo, who heads the Africa program of the International Peace Academy, looks in great detail at ECOMOG's complex role during the Liberian civil war of 1990-96. He examines how the war in its various phases reflected the interplay of events, policies, and personalities at the national, regional, and international level, and in particular how Nigeria's ambition to play a dominant role in West Africa affected ECOMOG's development. In the second book, he traces how ECOMOG fared in two further peacemaking efforts following its mixed record of success in Liberia. He sees the repetition of earlier mistakes but also evidence of a learning curve that could bode well for greater stability in the region if additional international resources could be mobilized to strengthen ECOMOG's institutional capacity.