Background of the study.
Peace is a situation when people are able to
resolve their different conflicts without violence and can work together to
improve the quality of their lives. Peace doesn’t mean absence of war. Peace
reflects that there is security friendly system that frees individual and
groups of people from fears and danger of losing such inalienable human rights
such as life, liberty and property (Osah, 2017). Peacekeeping refers to activities intended to
create conditions that favor lasting peace and United Nations research
generally finds that peacekeeping reduces civilian and battlefield deaths and reduces
the risk of a new war (United nation peacekeeping, 2014).
Violent conflict can be said to be the
reason why peacekeeping operations are done. Conflicts around the world can be
said to be a major concern of nations in the world and the reason why they
embark on peacekeeping operations, is because if these peacekeeping operations
are not done the sovereignty of all nations in the world is not guaranteed. So
they engage in peacekeeping operations for the purpose of collective security. Peacekeeping
operations are done mostly in states that are in political unrest and this is
because there is no security of citizen’s lives and property in this state.
The concept of peacekeeping can be traced to
after the world war 1, where the league of nations was founded on the 10th
of January 1920 and this organization was founded mainly to resolve
international disputes, implement international institutions (rules) and
prevent a return war but this organization failed to prevent a returning war
because it lacked an enforcement arm which was to check the growing axis power
and this led to the 2nd world war. (Ogu, 2017).
Second World war fought from 1939 to 1945, the
second world war is the deadliest conflict in history, with over 70 million
fatalities (khan, 2013). Involving all the great powers of the world, divided
into allied and axis powers. It is the only war to have used nuclear weapons
till date. During the 2nd world war, another organization was
established in 1944 and the name of this organization is the united nations,
which was founded to maintain world peace, develop good relations between
countries and promote cooperation in solving world problems (Ogu, 2017). The UN
had an enforcement arm which checked the axis power which has been able to
prevent a return war.
The united nations peacekeeping started in
1948, its first mission was in the Middle East to observe and maintain the
truce during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the mission was officially
authorized on May 29th 1948. The united nations peacekeeping force
was awarded a Nobel prize in 1988. The united nation’s peacekeeping operations
dramatically increased, authorizing more missions between 1991 and 1994.
The UN continues to promote peace and has
active peacekeeping operations around the world, in addition to peacekeeping,
peacekeepers are increasingly charged with assisting in political processes,
reintegrating former combatants, supporting the return of internally displaced
persons and refugees etc. (Roser and Nagdy, 2015). The united nation has 193
member states, with no standing army, but has peacekeepers and the goal of this
peacekeepers is to create condition for lasting peace. (Ogu, 2017). The United
Nations peacekeepers are soldiers, police officers and military observers and
they are from UN member states and these nations volunteer the member of their
armed forces. (Engber, 2006). The United Nations Security Council has the
primary responsibility, under the United Nations charter for the maintenance of
international peace and security. (Boutros, 1992). And Nigeria been a former member of the Security
Council adopted the policy of peacekeeping into the foreign policy of Nigeria.
The assessment of Nigeria’s role in peacekeeping
operations within the west Africa sub-region has been since Nigeria gained
independence in 1960. The country has played and continues to play a vital role
in peacekeeping, conflict resolution, war strategies and countries faced with
political instability such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, Gambia and other African
countries. (Hamman and Omojuwa, 2013).
Peacekeeping is a term
mainly used to describe actions sponsored by the united nations with primary
responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. (Hamman and
Omojuwa, 2013). Nigeria’s peacekeeping mission global, regional and
sub-regional has received recommendations from the United Nations. (Hamman,
2013). Nigeria became a member of the
united nations immediately after independence on 7th of October 1960
as the 99th member and became a non-permanent member of the United
Nations security council in 1966. (News breakers publisher, 2015). Non-
permanent members of the UN are rotated after every two years and the Security
Council is the organ of the UN that is charged with peacekeeping
operations. Nigeria actively
participated in ECOWAS Monitoring Group, African union as well as united
nations peacekeeping operations. (Hamman, Mustafa and Omojuwa, 2013)
Nigeria is the 14th highest
country providing peacekeepers to the united nations and following 2016, the
data shows that Nigeria contributed a total of 2170 peacekeeping personnel.
(Venture Africa, 2017) with these cultivated behavior Nigeria began to
participate more in peacekeeping operations in Africa especially west African
and Nigeria is regarded as the “Giant of Africa and the Big Brother of Africa”.
The principles and objectives of Nigerian foreign policy made it mandatory for
the country to be an active participant in African as well as global
peacekeeping operations. (Musa, 2013)
Since gaining independence in the 1960’s,
Nigeria’s interest and commitment to world peace has put her in the forefront
of troop contributing countries in support of global, regional and sub-regional
peace support operations (PSOs). Nigeria has participated in PSOs under the
authority and mandates of the UN, AU and ECOWAS. (Peaceops, 2013).
Nigeria as a non-aligned country during the
cold war years, the country maintained a neutral position, which made her a
dependable mediator and trusted participant in the forces raised to restore and
maintain peace in conflict zones. (Hamman and Omojuwa, 2013). Nigerian army
participation in peacekeeping operation dates to over 50 years, General Aguiyi
Ironsi led Nigerian army troops out for the first time in a peace support
mission to the war ravaged in Congo in the 1960s. (Azgaku, 2015). Nigeria
decision’s makers have continuously designed, shaped and maintained a foreign
policy which has continued to have some impact on international peace. Nigeria
is today one of the strategic members of the 113 troops contributing countries
of the united nation. (Panapress, 2007)
1960, Congo a former colony of Belgium, there was a conflict five days after Congo
got its independence. And Belgium deployed troops to Congo but the UN security
council called on Belgium to withdraw their troops from Congo. The UN security
council also authorized the UN secretary general to provide Congo with
necessary military assistance until the country’s security forces could meet
their task fully. The UN called on
Nigeria to help contribute troops for Congo and by the end of November 1,350
Nigerian soldiers were deployed in Congo. With Nigeria’s participation in the
UN’s peacekeeping operations in Congo there was peace and security brought back
to Congo. (Azgaku, 2015).
In 1964, when Tanzania army revolted against
the government, the government of Tanzania asked the Nigerian army to assist in
suppressing the rebel, and Nigeria helped in protecting Tanzania against the
revolting army. Similarly, in 1978, Nigeria’s armed force were deployed in chad
to enforce peace during the Chadian civil war. Chad has been at war ever since
she obtained independence from France and this war started to give Nigeria a
feeling of insecurity and this was because the situation of chad worsened and
it could affect its neighboring countries. So Nigeria stepped into the situation
in chad and enforced peace. (Azgaku, 2015)
In 1978, southern Lebanon was invaded by
Israel forces in retaliation for the raiding of Israeli territory by the
Palestinian commandos. There was bloodshed, deliberate destruction of property
for over three decades. After the invasion of the Israeli, the central
government of Lebanese appealed to UN to help it re-establish its authority in
the southern Lebanese occupied by Israeli forces. The UN security council met
over the request of the Lebanese government and UN secretary general called on
and got contributed troops from 10 member nations and Nigeria participated in
the operation. 673 officers and men left from Nigeria to Lebanese in May 1978
and began its peacekeeping operation in Lebanese. (Azgaku, 2015)
Nigeria’s participation in peacekeeping
operations at this infant stage of her independence could be attributed to its
bid to make her a force to be reckoned with in the region and internationally.
The troops deployed by Nigeria to conflicting states brought Nigeria great honor
and pride because of wonderful performance of the troops. (Chigozie and Ituma,
of the problem.
Though Nigeria’s role in peacekeeping
operations globally and especially locally has received many commendations from
international, regional and sub-regional organization. There are many
challenges that are faced by Nigeria as a state that affects the nation and the
Despite Nigeria’s role in peace keeping, the country
itself is in a state of turmoil. The conflict and corruption in Nigeria’s
government is alarming and it has hindered the development of Nigeria. From
this, it can be said that the Nigerian governmental participation in
peacekeeping operations is for the self-interest of the political leaders of
Nigeria. There are various intra state
conflicts and insurgencies in the country like the Boko Haram insurgents, IPOB
separatist, Fulani herdsmen to the Niger delta militant of the south Nigeria
seems to be a constant battlefield with the idea of peace farfetched and still
the Nigeria government is focused on participating in peacekeeping operations
instead of looking for a solution for the conflicts in the country. Nigeria as
an ambassador of peace and diplomacy seems to lack proper application of what
it preaches outside its borders.
bit to achieve peace sub-regionally, Nigeria has deployed a good number of soldiers
to aid its peacekeeping activities in west Africa however, Nigeria has issues
with the security of lives of its soldiers, many have died on the peacekeeping
front and many more will due to the high level of insecurity of lives. And
there is a high rate of infection amongst the returning Nigerian peacekeepers
regarding sexually transmitted diseases especially HIV/AIDS virus and this is a
very deadly issue because the Nigerian government does not provide sufficient
medical healthcare for the soldiers and this endangers their lives and that of
their loved ones. (Sule, 2013)
Deployment of troops, provisions of arms and
ammunitions, man power and training of man power, engagement and battle
management of troops, security for soldiers, medical personnel and war aids is
an economic strain on Nigeria. Nigeria on its own is at a beak of an economic
meltdown and still recovering from it. Nigeria doesn’t have adequate military
fund and still Nigeria endangers the lives of their citizens in the name of
peacekeeping operations and this leads to high mortality rate. And without
adequate military funding, the military is not capable of securing the lives of
Nigeria’s citizens talk more of another state, but instead of Nigeria to train
and fund the army adequately and increase the military capabilities of the
country, Nigeria sends off untrained armed forces to war reducing the military
capabilities of the state and also reducing the prestige of the country. (Adegbja,
Every country has a clear political or
diplomatic goal in peacekeeping missions, Nigeria however seems not to have
benefitted significantly from its role in peacekeeping considering the human
and material resources deployed. This forms the thesis that the study intends
of the study.
The primary objective of
this study would be to assess Nigeria’s role in peacekeeping in west Africa,
and the other objectives include to:
examine the preponderance of war and
analyze the measures adopted globally
in curbing war and conflict;
determine the effects of the peacekeeping
missions in sierra Leone and Liberia on Nigeria’s image;
assess the role of Nigeria in peacekeeping
operations in sierra Leone and Liberia.
Why is war and conflict prevalence
in the globally?
What are the measures adopted
globally in curbing war and conflict?
Why and what are the challenges faced by
Nigeria in peacekeeping operations in sierra Leone and Liberia?
How has the challenges faced by Nigeria in
peacekeeping in sierra Leone and Liberia affected its national development?
1.5 Research Methodology.
The study will adopts a descriptive research
design to asses Nigeria’s peacekeeping roles in west Africa. The population is
the whole of west Africa. The method of sample selection is purposive and the
sample will be sierra Leone and Liberia because of Nigeria’s involvement in the
peacekeeping operations of these countries. The study will combine unstructured
interview with secondary data sources such as relevant books, internet sources,
journals and official documents. The interview is expected to cover staffers of Economic community of
West African states, minister of foreign affairs Nigeria and soldiers that
participated in the operation.
1.6 Significance of the study.
The purpose of this study is to contribute to the body
of knowledge on Nigeria’s role in peacekeeping operations in west Africa. The
contribution is expected to highlight the role of Nigeria’s peacekeeping
operations as well as focus on the problems and challenges that Nigeria faces
when engaging in peacekeeping operations and what are the benefits or effects
these peacekeeping operations has on Nigeria’s development.
The empirical relevance of this study would
be to provide the government of Nigeria with a reasonable and practical
solutions to the problems face the during peacekeeping operations. This paper
hopes to provide a logical step to examine the effectiveness of Nigeria’s role
in peacekeeping operations.
1.7 Scope of the study.
The research will only be
focused on the assessment of Nigeria’s role in peacekeeping operations in west
Africa downsizing it to its operations with Liberia and sierra Leone as the
case study. The geography of this study is west Africa sub-region and the time
frame of this study will be 1960 to 2013 and this because this was when
Nigeria’s peacekeeping operations in sierra Leone and Liberia was prominent.
This study was chosen to examine the role of Nigeria’s peacekeeping operations
to figure the challenges and success.
The study follows a rational structure which
will be presented in (5) five related chapters. Chapter one is an introductory
chapter and explains the background of the study, identify the research problem
as well as state the research objectives. The research questions, significance
of the study, scope of the study and the chapterization of this study. Chapter
two deals with the review of related literatures on the subject matter and to
examine the preponderance of war and conflict globally also to analyze the
measures adopted globally in curbing war and conflicts. While chapter three deals with assessing
Nigeria’s role in peacekeeping operations in Sierra Leone and Liberia and
research methodology. Chapter four deals with determining the effects of the
peacekeeping operations in Sierra Leone and Liberia on Nigeria’s image and data
presentation, analysis and interpretation of data collected. Finally, chapter
five presents a summary of key results, conclusion to the study with useful