A Comparative Analysis of Post-Conflict Peacebuilding in Liberia and Sierra Leone, 2000-2013
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Lagos
This study examines the nature and structure of post-conflict peacebuilding in Liberia and Sierra Leone since 2000. It focuses specifically on peacebuilding process in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Previous researches on peacebuilding as a tool of conflict management have generated a lot of questions in academic circles. This is because there is a disagreement among experts on how peacebuilding works. The difficulty has been compounded by the fact that discussions on peacebuilding are often speculative, creating more confusion about the concept. Most of the existing studies on peacebuilding have focused on particular aspect of the subject, such as demilitarization, demobilization and related issues without discussing this in an integrated manner. This realization stimulated the need to understand the entire gamut of peacebuilding. It is against this background that this research examines the entire pillars of peacebuilding in Liberia and Sierra Leone with special reference to their similarities and differences. In addition, the study explores a wide range of issues involving disarmament, demobilization, democratization, economic restructuring and the reconciliation of war victims with the repentant rebels, the role of the local chiefs, individual and non-governmental institutions in peacebuilding in Liberia and Sierra Leone. In addition, the study discusses the problems militating against successful peacebuilding in both countries. The study adopts a historical approach, which relies on both primary and secondary sources of data collected by the researcher from Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone to reconstruct the peacebuilding processes in both countries. Also, it adopts the comparative theory to explain the differences between cases that have striking commonalities. The study adopts “the progression towards positive peace theory” of analysis to explain the complex nature of post-conflict resolution in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The research demonstrates that only collaborative efforts of the government, private sector and civil societies can ensure successful peacebuilding in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The study reveals how several efforts aimed at resolving the crisis by both the governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone were frustrated by personal interest of the main actors, ethnic consideration and the domestic environment. A comparative analysis of the Liberia and Sierra Leone peacebuilding reveals that the intervention of multinational organizations such as the African Union, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and United Nations among others was decisive in achieving the present atmosphere of peace in both countries. The study recommends that governments should be more proactive in addressing issues of bad governance, corruption and greed to avoid a re-occurrence of violent conflicts.