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Addressing the Challenges of Collective Security in West Africa: In View of Recent Conflicts

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Technical Report

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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Understanding that achieving peace and security is a primary condition for an economic integration, ECOWAS has developed various approaches in resolving crises and overcoming threats within West Africa. Using a qualitative research methodology, this study analyzes ECOWASs response to crises in Cote dIvoire 2010, Guinea-Bissau and Mali 2012 to understand its challenges. Overall, ECOWAS is more successful in Guine-Bissau and still appears to be in a reactionary posture. This study reveals that ECOWAS shortcomings reside in the timely exploitation of the information given by its early warning systems to prevent crises, some poor choice of emissaries to conduct negotiations, lack of consensus within its member states in contributing to a strong military coalition, the reticence of host nations to welcome an intervention force, and the full readiness of the ESF. By acting proactively on the basis of its warning systems findings, reconsidering the background of its mediators, and setting as membership condition the obligation of countries to contribute and support peace operations, the organization can address these challenges.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Intelligence

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