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The interest in peacekeeping has been the subject of several studies and continues to dominate
the minds of many on the international scene. Basically, peacekeeping relates to the preservation
of peace, especially the supervision by international forces. It has been a subject of vast
academic and professional inquiry, primarily because of its importance as a strategy for
maintaining and preserving peace, stability, and order in conflict-ridden parts of the world
(American English Dictionary, 2000). Enormous resources and efforts are invested continuously
in peacekeeping by international organizations, such as the United Nations (UN), by world
powers such as the United States, and by regional powers such as Nigeria in the case of West
Nigeria continues to play vital roles in support of countries challenged by political instability.
This Big brother role gives credit to the statement that Nigeria is a significant Actor in
peacekeeping particularly within West Africa. Nigeria‘s peace keeping mission began in1960
when she joined the United Nations. Between 1960 and 2014, Nigeria has been efficiently
involved in various ways in the fight against the crumble of the African continent. This made her
to promote the establishment of the non-alignment movement, the organization of African unity
which is now African union (2001), the Economic community of west Africa states
(ECOWAS).Nigeria also helped in the creation of, Economic Community of West African States
Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), she (Nigeria) provided resources, troops and financial backing
that made the creation of ECOMOG possible (Net Resources International accessed 2014).
Nigeria has also led the diplomatic and military engagements to restore and maintain peace in
Congo, Somalia, Liberia, Sudan, Sierra Leone and a host of other countries. In particular
Nigeria‘s reputation as a regional stabilizer, conciliator and peace building efforts in the West
Africa sub-region remains unmatched. Nigeria has played a prominent role in the peace building
and integrative efforts within the West African region. At the regional level she has contributed
to various peace building and peacemaking efforts on the African continent. To date Nigeria has
contributed armed military contingents, unarmed military observers, military staff officers,
formed police units and police advisors as well as civilian experts to more than 30 A.U,
ECOWAS and UN missions (Omotorere, 2011).
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(Omotere
tope, 2011).
However, while the country is been applauded by the United Nations mission across the globe
,many Nigerians hold reservations regarding the huge resources expended on peacekeeping
operations around the world at the cost of the country‘s needs. It should be notable that the
financial, material and human losses Nigeria has incurred in these involvements have been
significant. According to Ahmed (2011) Nigeria has not taken full advantage of its active
participation in numerous peacekeeping operations around the world by not getting proportional
economic, military, and political compensation for its participation. For example countries like
Ghana which also participate in numerous United Nations peacekeeping operations, generate
funds through this process to defray the costs of sustaining its military while Nigeria on the other
hand has largely deprived itself of such benefits .Nigeria has grown to be widely recognized in
the international community as an unrelenting advocate of global peace. The objectives and
principles of Nigerian foreign policy since independence made it mandatory for the country to be
an active participant in African regional peace support operations. Furthermore, as a non-aligned
country during the cold war years, Nigeria maintained a neutral position, which made her a
dependable mediator and courted participant in the forces rose to restore and maintain peace in
conflict zones (Ahmed, 2013). While most of the peacekeeping operations in which Nigeria has
participated were united nations mandate and led, a few actually came under the mandate of the
African union but more recently most of the peace keeping operations have been authorized and
carried out under economic community of west African states (ECOWAS) mandates and often,
Nigeria took a leading role at the operational level. This will review the enormous contribution
that Nigeria has made towards security African peace and security through its past participation
in peacekeeping operations. This study attempts to understand the reasons behind, and the extent
of Nigeria‘s peacekeeping roles, identify past problems and current ―issues‖ in Nigeria‘s
participation in peacekeeping organizations, and to also contribute to the broad knowledge that
already exists in the peacekeeping operation field and hopefully encourage further research.
Peacekeeping is the action of a third party between warring forces, enforcing a cease fire or other
truce, usually in support of political moves towards a lasting peace settlement. The majority of
peacekeeping during the Cold War period was limited to separating national armies in ending
hostilities between belligerent states. Since then, the roles of peacekeepers have been diverse
with rise of demand for new functions of international military forces in response to hostilities
among ethnic groups. It is not by accident that the West African region experienced an explosion
of conflicts in the 1990s. Many of the states in the region became independent between 1957 and
1962; a period popularly referred to as ―annus mirabilis‖ meaning years of wonder.
When many of these African states attained political independence from their European
colonizers, they lacked the necessary infrastructure and structured institutions to facilitate
adequate economic, political and social functions. Like other regions in Africa, the end of the
Cold War diminished competition for allies by both the former Union of Soviet Socialist
Republic (USSR) and the West (Europe and United States of America). Writing in this vein,
Gros states that, ―. . . the demise of the East-West rivalry did not result in greater attention by the
West to Africa‘s problems.‖ Nor did the broader international community, such as the UN, care
enough to play any active role in the reduction of many African intra-state or inter-state conflicts.
This necessitated sub-regional organizations, such as Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS) with Nigeria as its major participant, to respond and help resolve some of
these conflicts. Regulation of conflict in the West African region became imperative with the
Liberian crisis, which corresponded to the end of the Cold War (WaIter Rodney, 1982).
Adhering to this urgency, the initiative for ECOWAS stemmed from a desire by some of the
member states, particularly Nigeria, for an economically and/or politically stable and developing
region. In addition to championing the ECOWAS initiative, Nigeria has continued to commit to
its existence and operation and by extension, ECOMOG. Against this background of overt
commitment by Nigeria, Aluko contends that: The main ideas behind Nigeria‘s initiative are
political, security, and economic considerations. For political reasons Nigeria wants an
arrangement that will put an end to colonial divisions in West Africa. Furthermore, she believes
that such a step will put an end to border disputes and will be an important contribution to
African unity. Aluko‘s assertion implies that Nigeria believes, that through economic unity, the
West African region will get closer to political unity, and that economic and political stability
enhances greater regional security. The successive inter-state and intra-state conflicts in the West
African region since the end of the Cold War, have added extra burden to Nigeria‘s roles in West
Africa. From the time of her independence in 1960, Nigeria has participated in almost every
peacekeeping effort in West Africa and beyond. While there have been write-ups on Nigeria‘s
participation in the region, some of the discussions concentrate on whether Nigeria‘s overall
interest in West Africa has a bearing on her need to emerge as a regional hegemony, as Aluko
(1981) contends, Nigeria remains suspect in many West African capitals. Nigeria is seen in many
of these countries as working for the eventual domination of her smaller neighbors. While efforts
have been made by some scholars to document Nigerian peacekeeping missions, much is yet to
be covered on the challenges facing Nigeria as a country in her involvements in peacekeeping.
That is why this research is set to examine Nigeria peacekeeping mission and the certain
challenges she has faced while undergoing peacekeeping operations and provide solutions where
The general objective of this study is to study the impact of Nigeria‘s peacekeeping role in West
The specific objectives of this study are to:
 Examine the foreign policy objectives of Nigeria in relation to her peacekeeping mission
in Liberia and sierra Leone
 State the achievements made by Nigerian peacekeeping mission in Liberia and sierra
 Review the major challenges facing Nigeria peacekeeping mission.
 To suggest possible solutions to the major challenges facing Nigeria peace keeping
missions in West Africa.
 How effective is Nigeria‘s participation in peacekeeping operations in Liberia and Sierra
 What are the positive and negative implications of Nigeria‘s participation in
peacekeeping operations in West Africa?
 What are the specific achievements of Nigeria‘s peacekeeping roles in West Africa?
 What are the specific challenges of Nigeria‘s peacekeeping roles in West Africa?
H0: Nigeria has not been effective in its participation in peacekeeping operations in Liberia and
Sierra Leone.
H1: Nigeria has been effective in its participation in peacekeeping operations in Liberia and
Sierra Leone.
H0: Nigeria has not incurred significant human, material and financial losses in peacemaking.
H1: Nigeria has incurred significant human, material and financial losses in peacemaking.
H0: Nigeria has not achieved specific results in her peacekeeping roles in West Africa.
H1: Nigeria has achieved specific results in her peacekeeping roles in West Africa.
H0: Nigeria has not encountered specific challenges in her peacekeeping roles in West Africa.
H1: Nigeria has encountered specific challenges in her peacekeeping roles in West Africa.
This study sheds more light on the dynamics that characterized Nigeria foreign policy objectives
on her west African neighbors, it is very useful to scholars especially diplomats, historians,
political scientist, peace and conflict scholars, international relations students and economists in
their research because this would enrich their knowledge and understanding of the subject matter
of study, the political and military class will learn, through this study, the need for them to be
patriotic in keeping Nigeria arrow head in the international arena. This research will also help in
providing information on the domestic factors that has been influencing peacekeeping mission
since independence. This research is set to provide possible solutions to the challenges faced by
Nigeria in her peacekeeping mission and to also be a source of reference to other researchers in
similar area.
This study covers Nigerian peacekeeping missions from 1960 to 2014 in Liberia and Sierra
Leone. It also looks at the concept of peace keeping and nature of peace keeping. However due
to the complex nature of the study area (Liberia and Sierra Leone), special attention is given to
the major peacekeeping efforts of Nigeria even though all these efforts might not be fully
covered. Case studies of two West African countries, Liberia and Sierra Leone, will afford
substantial insights into Nigeria‘s peacekeeping roles in West Africa. The study therefore looks
at the various capacities where Nigeria has served to transform war torn regions into peaceful
areas under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council.
This is a structured five chapter work, such that chapter one covers the general introduction
which consist of background information. Statement of problem, objective of study, research
questions, research hypothesis, significance of study, scope of study and conceptual clarification
chapter two covers the literature review and theoretical frame work. Chapter three is for the
research methodology; chapter four is devoted to data analysis and presentation while chapter
five is meant for summary of findings, discussion, conclusion and recommendation.
PEACEKEEPING: Peacekeeping is a term mainly used to describe actions sponsored by
the United Nations charter with primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and
security. Agwu (2007) indicated that peacekeeping consists essentially of observer missions
and lightly armed forces monitoring ceasefire, operating in an essentially static mode with
the consent of the parties involved. In its traditional sense, peacekeeping meant conflict
containment and it adopted the form of neutral outside assistance to mediate and encourage
belligerent parties to disengage (Dokubo, 2005). For peacekeeping operation to succeed
therefore, it needs to secure not only the cooperation of the conflicting parties but also of the
international community-regional and sub-regional organization.
AFRO- CENTRIC POLICY: can also be referred to as Africa-Center-Piece or Nigerian
policy for African affairs, especially policy for the West African region. It simply means
African affairs are the cornerstone of Nigeria‘s foreign policy.
in 1975, is an organization of fifteen West African nations that have agreed to share common
market, technical ideas, cultural and social exchanges, with an eventual economic integration
in the West African region. Since January 2007 ECOWAS has a commissioner format
administration led by a president. Its secretariat is located in Abuja, Nigeria and has the
following commissioners: agriculture, environment and water resources; human and gender
development; Infrastructure and micro-economic policy; political affairs, peace and security
and trade and customs for free movement of its citizens.
(ECOMOG): This body was formed in 1990 and is made up of military troops from some
ECOWAS member-states, to help gain cease-fire and restore peace to the crisis in Liberia
and has since remained as a security arm of ECOWAS. Since its creation, ECOMOG has
been involved in several peacekeeping missions (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Côte d‘lvoire and
Sudan) in Africa.
NATIONAL INTEREST: As it relates to this study, is a term used by Nigeria, to articulate
reasons or the need for her foreign policy objectives. It is based on the national interest
policy that Nigeria formulates her foreign policy agendas, particularly as it relates to West
African affairs.
an organization of all nations within the African continent, established to address African
issues. The OAU also supported ECOWAS decision to send ECOMOG into Liberia. Nigeria
has been a member of OAU since its inception in 1963.
TRANSITION: Refers to the period of a crisis when external assistance is most crucial in
supporting and underpinning still fragile cease fires, or peace processes, by helping to create the
conditions for political stability, security, justice and social equity.


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