Jaye, Thomas, Dauda Garuba and Stella Amadi (eds.). ECOWAS and the Dynamics of Conflict and Peace-Building.

Author:Akinwale, Akeem Ayofe
Position:Book review

Jaye, Thomas, Dauda Garuba and Stella Amadi (eds.). ECOWAS and the Dynamics of Conflict and Peace-Building. Dakar, Senegal: CODESRIA, 2011. 252 pp.

This edited book shows the interplay of conflicts and institutional framework for peace-building in Africa. The contributors examine the role of ECOWAS in conflict resolution. The book is a product of the Consortium for Development Partnerships (CDP) established in July 2004 by an international research network comprising universities, research centers and nongovernmental organizations. In the midst of several issues, the CDP recognizes the need for conflict resolution and good governance in Africa; meanwhile its activities are jointly coordinated by the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA), and the Programme of African Studies (PAS) of Northwestern University, Evanston.

Besides the introductory chapter written by three editors, the book comprises two parts. The first part comprises eight chapters (1-8) dwelling on causes and consequences of conflicts in West Africa, calling ECOWAS's attention to the need for lasting peacebuilding in the region. The second part comprises four chapters (9-12), which focus on challenges of peacebuilding and ECOWAS' institutional responses to conflicts within the ambit of its jurisdiction. All 12 chapters of the book dwell on conflicts and peacebuilding in West Africa. The chapters are written by seasoned researchers and experts on peace and security.

The authors' profiles show their wide range of professional training and work experience in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Most of them have obtained doctorate degrees in various disciplines, while some of them have either directed or coordinated peacebuilding programs in their respective roles as consultants and leaders with considerable experience on the subject of development in Africa. The book thus reflects various theoretical and pragmatic approaches from a multidisciplinary perspective.

In their introduction, the editors review the history of ECOWAS, showing its origin and development since 1975. It is clear from their exposition that ECOWAS primarily promotes economic development but its scope has been expanded to include peace and security. This resulted in its adoption of the Protocol of Non-Aggression in 1978; the Protocol on Mutual Assistance on Defence in 1981 ; and the 1999 Protocol on Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security, respectively. The editors specifically recognize ECOWAS' attempts to resolve a number of security challenges occasioned by protracted conflicts in several countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, and Guinea-Bissau. They appraise ECOWAS Monitoring Group--ECOMOG--comprising civilian and military personnel charged with the responsibility of ensuring peace during the Liberian...

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