The Nigeria Led ECOMOG Military Intervention and Interest in the Sierra Leone Crisis: An Overview

Chukwuma C.C. Osakwe, Bulus Nom Audu


While Nigeria was under President Sani Abacha’s dictatorship, the democratic system was toppled in Sierra Leone by rebels but Abacha reversed the trend. The reasons for the largely unilateral and hasty decision to restore democracy in Sierra Leone by the Abacha regime remain controversial. Wide skepticism and condemnation greeted the decision to commit Nigerian troops, money and materials to a foreign operation at the expense of Nigeria’s fragile economy. The Nigeria Armed Forces consequently became the instrument for the pursuant of an aggressive foreign policy. The Economic Community of West Africa Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) hastily deployed to Sierra Leone just as it had previously done in Liberia amidst various operational and logistical problems. In terms of interests, Nigeria’s attempt to restore democracy in Sierra Leone was perceived to be contradictory both at home and abroad since Abacha’s regime itself was undemocratic and facing international isolation. The view that the Force was being used by the Abacha regime to pursue its own economic and political interest dampened the enthusiasm of regional and international organizations to provide financial and logistic support. Either way, the argument of this paper is that Nigeria’s unilateral military action in Sierra Leone was a reflection of her desire to score a quick military victory outside an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sub regional security legal framework but it failed woefully.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2017.v8n4s1p107

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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