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POLITICAL SCIENCE

DEMOCRATIZATION AND MILITARIZATION IN WEST AFRICAN SUB-REGION

DEMOCRATIZATION AND MILITARIZATION IN WEST AFRICAN SUB-REGION

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DEMOCRATIZATION AND MILITARIZATION IN WEST AFRICAN SUB-REGION

ABSTRACT

The study is mostly a qualitative research method, using data collected from secondary sources such as the internet, official documents, and country websites.

We used qualitative-descriptive analysis as our data analysis method, which entailed documentary examinations of documents and other to analyse secondary data.

The primary goal of this research is to examine the democratisation and militarization in the West African sub-region as a result of ECOWAS action in Mali and Guinea Bissau. Thus, we were able to reach the following main conclusions: one, the legitimacy problem suffered by the deposed democratic regimes impedes ECOWAS intervention for democratisation in Mali and Guinea Bissau.

Two, the militarization caused by the weak governance of ousted democratic governments impedes ECOWAS intervention to demilitarise Mali and Guinea Bissau.

Based on this, we recommend, first, that confidence-building measures be implemented to strengthen ECOWAS's democratisation involvement in Mali and Guinea Bissau. Two, public education is required to ensure the successful demilitarisation of Mali and Guinea Bissau by ECOWAS.

Chapter one

INTRODUCTION

1.1. Background of the Study.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was founded in 1975 primarily to promote economic integration and development in the West African subregion. However, over time, the regional economic organisation

morphed into a regional security organisation by military intervention in member states' crisis situations, as well as the establishment of a new organ, the ECOWAS Ceasefire Monitoring Group (ECOMOG).

The peacekeeping intervention began with the Liberian civil war in 1989, followed by Sierra Leone in 1997, Guinea Bissau in 1998, the Liberian Second Civil War in 1999, Cote d'Ivoire in 2002, the Second Cote d'Ivoire Civil War in 2011, Mali in 2012, and the Second Guinea Bissau crisis in 2012 (Agyapong, 2005; Belmakki, 2005; Levitt, 2008; Francis, 2009; Olonisakin, ; Yabi, 2010; Kabia, 2011).

The ECOWAS recognises that no significant economic integration and development will be feasible in the context of violence, since the sub-region rapidly assumed the character of a conflict region. Prior to the military intervention, ECOWAS had always relied on traditional methods of conflict resolution.

As a result of widespread conflict and instability in the sub-region during the 1990s and early 2000s, the leaders realised that economic prosperity cannot be achieved without peace and security.

Prior to the Liberian crisis in 1989, ECOWAS depended on traditional conflict resolution techniques like as mediation in Niger and other sub-regional issues (Agyapong, 2005; Francis, 2009).

ECOWAS is becoming more of a regional security organisation. However, this does not imply the abandonment of traditional conflict resolution procedures, as illustrated by the incidents in Togo in 2005,

when democracy was restored following military coups. Even in times of military action, established means of imposing sanctions and fostering dialogue with governments had been exhausted (Suifon, 2005; Levitt, 2008).

However, ECOWAS' military participation has not been completely successful in resolving conflicts, crises of regime change and political succession, and military intervention in politics in the West African sub-region and as a whole.

The most recent crises in the sub-region in which ECOWAS has involved were Mali and Guinea Bissau in 2012. The goal has been to restore democracy by returning the military to its barracks or limiting it to the constitutional responsibility of preserving territorial integrity against internal insurgency and external assault.

However, the ECOWAS has yet to adequately address the root causes of military intervention in politics and crises of regime change or political succession, such as legitimacy crisis, poor governance, bad leadership, political leadership failure, political corruption,

electoral crisis, and political violence. Most of the countries in the sub-region, and indeed Africa as a whole, have undemocratic or inappropriate political conditions for democratisation, thriving, or demilitarisation (Aning and Bah, 2010; Sperling, 2011).

Most researchers, such as Nowrot and Schabacker (1998), focus on the legality of ECOWAS intervention, but Olonisakan (2010) focuses on the effectiveness of military intervention in resolving conflicts in the West African subregion.

1.2. Statement of Problem

ECOWAS' military participation has not been entirely successful in resolving conflicts, crises of regime change and political succession, and military intervention in politics in the West African subregion and Africa as a whole.

The most recent crises in the sub-region in which ECOWAS has involved were Mali and Guinea Bissau in 2012. The goal has been to restore democracy by returning the military to its barracks or limiting it to the constitutional responsibility of preserving territorial integrity against internal insurgency and external assault.

However, the ECOWAS has yet to adequately address the root causes of military intervention in politics and crises of regime change or political succession, such as legitimacy crisis, poor governance, bad leadership, political leadership failure, political corruption, electoral crisis, and political violence.

Most of the countries in the sub-region, and indeed Africa as a whole, have undemocratic or inappropriate political conditions for democratisation, thriving, or demilitarisation (Aning and Bah, 2010; Sperling, 2011).

Most researchers, such as Nowrot and Schabacker (1998), focus on the legality of ECOWAS intervention, but Olonisakan (2010) focuses on the effectiveness of military intervention in resolving conflicts in the West African subregion.

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