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Part 2 The Post-Cold War Era (1990–2000), 37 The ECOWAS Intervention in Liberia—1990–97

Ugo Villani

From: The Use of Force in International Law: A Case-Based Approach

Edited By: Tom Ruys, Olivier Corten, Alexandra Hofer

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 27 May 2024

International law and international relations — Humanitarian intervention — Regional organizations — UN Charter — International peace and security

This contribution examines the intervention of ECOWAS in Liberia following the civil war begun at the end of 1989. After recalling the historical context of the Liberian crisis, the decisions of ECOWAS, and the establishment of the Cease-fire Monitoring Group for Liberia (ECOMOG), it considers the positions of member states of ECOWAS, of the OUA, and especially of the Security Council. Then the contribution discusses the legality of the operation of ECOMOG, according to the ECOWAS system, as well as to general international law and the United Nations Charter, particularly Article 53 relating to regional organizations. The final section examines the impact of the intervention in Liberia on the development of the ECOWAS role in the maintenance of peace and security. It concludes that such intervention confirms that both humanitarian emergencies and civil wars now constitute threats to international peace and security and shows the usefulness of integrated forms of cooperation between regional organizations and the Security Council.

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