The African Union Charter and ECOWAS Humanitarian Intervention in Liberia: The Behaviouralist Perspective
Keywords:Behaviouralism, African Union Charter, Library Content Analysis, Constitutive Act, International law principles, Protocol on Mutual Assistance, Responsibility to Protect, Liberia, Charles Taylor
How do political rivalry, ethnicity and other structural tensions in a given country pose regional, sub-regional and even international security threat? What triggered Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) armed response to the Liberian crisis? The slow escalation of Liberia’s two civil wars (1989-96 and 1999-2003) illustrates how this observation stimulates the basis of comparative studies of Africa’s sub-regional humanitarian missions within the AU Charter. This paper argues that ECOWAS protocols connect Humanitarian Intervention (HI) to the emerging norm of responsibility to protect (R2P) and assess the extent to which ECOWAS leaders saw the Liberian mission more as R2P than a mere interference in the internal affairs of a member-state. It examines the basis for humanitarian intervention (HI) in Africa’s sub-regional institutions, identifies AU instruments and ECOWAS protocols that sanction HI. The theoretical analysis is explored in relation to ECOWAS intervention mission in Liberia and we explain the mission within the behaviouralist theory. Indeed, the Liberian crisis took place decades ago but its uniqueness as the first major “interference” of an African sub- regional body in the internal affairs of a member state justifies its study. Library Content Analysis will be the main research technique.
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