For observers of the West Africa regional war, the recent calm in the war-torn Mano River Union (MRU) states Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea has given rise to optimism. Guarded, as this optimism might be, the decrease in violence in West Africa during the second half of 2001 is an important development given the scope and intensity of fighting that gripped these states earlier in the year. While observers agree that the current absence of widespread violent conflict in the MRU is a much-welcomed development, it must not mask the profound cleavages within these societies, the tenuous nature of the UN-imposed peace in Sierra Leone, and the continued serious threat of renewed warfare in the region. A brief overview of the horrendous and persistent conflicts that have engulfed the MRU over the past decade underscores the need for vigilance by the international community in its pursuit of lasting peace in West Africa.
The past dozen years of violent conflict in West Africa have led to the death, injury, and mutilation of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of millions more. Conservative estimates place the total number of war-related deaths during the seven-year civil war in Liberia (1989 1996) at 150,000, more than 5 percent of Liberia's estimated population (SIPRI Yearbook, 1996). But this number only begins to tell the story of the horror that civil war brought to this small nation of 2.8 million [United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Human Development Report, 1995]. Hundreds of thousands more Liberians were injured, displaced, and terrorized by the conflict, and today the tiny state remains the hostage of its corrupt and brutal dictator, Charles Taylor.
After the war spread into Sierra Leone in 1991, it had a similarly devastating effect. As in Liberia, armed insurgents preyed on the rural populations, raping, pillaging, and forcefully inducting children into their ranks. During the eight years of warfare that followed, it is estimated (conservatively) that over 60,000 of Sierra Leone's estimated 4.2 million inhabitants were killed and hundreds of thousands more injured, mutilated, and displaced (SIPRI Yearbook, 2001; UNDP, Human Development Report, 1995). The 2001 UNDP Human Development Report ranks Sierra Leone last out of the 162 nations rated on the human development index (HDI), a composite ...
... middle of paper ...
...ll play in the future of the region.
6. Develop a mid- and long-term regional plan for West Africa that accounts for big-picture economic and human development trends.
7. Implement the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act as soon as possible and draft and then implement AGOA II, thus extending the number of products covered by the legislation.
8. Buttress socio-economic development in Nigeria, the most populous and perhaps most important U.S. ally in sub-Saharan Africa.
9. Cut off financial resources to warlords who gain sustenance from non-state profiteers like diamond and timber buyers as well as from state actors intent on creating instability to further their own political and economic goals.
10. Continue military assistance to the key regional armies to professionalize them and build linkages with the United States.
11. Speed up debt forgiveness, especially for those countries that play by the rules and are in the process of socio-economic liberalization.
12. Increase aid to the region as an investment in stability, socio-economic development, and the creation of new markets for the United States and to help prevent state collapse.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In the field of human rights, the issues surrounding globalization are widely debated. Some argue that globalization is a scourge that destroys the unique and multifaceted cultures of the world; while others argue that it spreads universal ideals, such as the concept of human rights. Regional organizations fit into the idea of globalization by creating unifying ties between nations; sharing values, trade, and promoting a strengthened identity. The two most well-known and influential regional organizations are the European Union (EU), and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).... [tags: international relations, human rights]
1121 words (3.2 pages)
- The sit-in campaign in Nashville started a regional movement that got national attention. All for the change of segregation in the south during the late 1950s. Two major players in contributing to this campaign were Jim Lawson and Diane Nash. Jim Lawson was a methodist minister who had strong ties with nonviolent action and the ministry. For three years he studied gandhian methods and served as a methodist missionary in India. Before serving as a missionary Jim Lawson also served fourteen months in prison.... [tags: Nonviolence, Civil disobedience, James Bevel]
1827 words (5.2 pages)
- American colonial slavery existence is traced back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Both began with similar intentions, however, their use of slavery became diverse. In the beginning, slavery had not been introduced. Instead, it was indentured servitude, which is when a man or woman agrees upon a contract to work for a certain amount of years in exchange for transportation to the New World, food, clothing, shelter, and above all, land. Through time, indentured servitude paved the way to a readier acceptance of slavery.... [tags: Slavery, American Civil War]
1103 words (3.2 pages)
- Although the end of World War II brought immense joy to the world, it was a turning point for American literature. Though the war was over, it was like starting over for America as it donned a new post war era. Authors and poets used their stories and characters to portray the grim era of that time and many of them reflected a guilt and disillusionment in the American dream. Though various writers had their own ideas of what the new post war America would shape out to be, not all had positive outlooks.... [tags: World War II, United States, Great Depression]
1299 words (3.7 pages)
- The factors in the regional development of the United States from 1800 onward, such as the crusades against slavery, the Compromise of 1850, and the arguments involving the admission of several states, both free and slave states, corroborate that the Civil War was, indeed, inevitable. There was no way to predict the outcome of these events; however, looking back in history, it is easy to tell that the Civil War was a ticking time bomb. By the end of the eighteenth century, the antislavery movement had helped remove most of the slavery in the North and led to the legal obstruction of the international slave trade in 1808.... [tags: American Civil War, Compromise of 1850]
1012 words (2.9 pages)
- While the world focused its main effort on the war against terrorism to the Middle East, the African continent is silently grows as a safe haven for terrorist groups. Although these terrorist groups operate in different countries under different names, their connection to the most known international terror organizations is noticeable. For decades, countries of East, North and West Africa have been experiencing several heinous terrorist attacks that resulted into deaths of hundreds of people. The African states through African Union regarded terrorism as one of their major security concerns that needs collective action.... [tags: Terrorism ]
1990 words (5.7 pages)
- How Minorities Fought Racism In World War II The Second World War was fought like no other. The war changed many aspects of American society - politically, socially, but most importantly socially. The flux of people needed to man the war both drove many to seek not only victory in the world, but also victory at home over racism. For the first time, minorities and the rest of the population were working for the same cause. This was the 1940’s, and the war served to prep Americans for the huge movements of the 1960’s.... [tags: World War II, United States]
1275 words (3.6 pages)
- Introduction Western involvement particularly U.S. military involvement in Africa did not begin after the September 2001 attacks; U.S. military engagement in Africa dates back to the Barbary Wars of 1801 - 1815, in the present day Libya.[footnoteRef:1] Following the Barbary Wars, the continent became a major theatre of engagement in the World War II. U.S. sought access to European Colonies in Africa for economic, military bases and raw materials[footnoteRef:2]. During the Cold War the U.S.... [tags: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, World War II, Sudan]
3337 words (9.5 pages)
- A large nation discovered in West Africa that home to around 155,142,000 human beings, lies Nigeria. Surrounded by a body of water, it is the most populated country found in Africa. Furthermore, it is the most populous countries in the entire world. With their inviting resources such as petroleum fields, they attracted many individuals who wanted to take over their land. They went through years of torture trying to become colonized and persisted on trying to gain independence. Similarly, this country can be compared to the United States (Donnelley).... [tags: West Africa history]
1331 words (3.8 pages)
- Southern Musical Tradition and the African Tradition The second major tributary of the southern musical tradition comes from the African continent and is the heritage import of the five million slaves brought to North America against their will to provide the bulk of the labor in the pre-industrial agrarian south. Contemporary blues, while not exclusively black music by any means, remains largely black in terms of its leading performers and, to a lesser extent, its listening audience.... [tags: Music Musical South Essays]
3590 words (10.3 pages)