Law of Armed Conflicts in Africa: A Study of the Liberian Civil War : Current School News

Law of Armed Conflicts in Africa: A Study of the Liberian Civil War



Law of Armed Conflicts in Africa: A Study of the Liberian Civil War.


This work is on the Law of Armed Conflicts in Africa: A Study of the Liberian Civil War. In the Liberian Civil War, unprecedented war crimes were committed in spite of the existence of the law of armed conflicts. Hence, Liberia is a country with many ethnic groups, dominated by American freed slaves (Americo-Liberians). The Americo-Liberians constitute about seven percent (7%) of the Liberian population, who are still playing major roles in the present-day Liberian politics.

The dominated groups differed radically in culture, degree of political cohesion, organization, ability and resolution to resist the domination of the Americo-Liberians and responsiveness to modernization. These ethnic wrangling sparked off the seven – year bloody civil war in Liberia. Therefore, this work is to examine the factors responsible for the violations of the law of armed conflicts in Liberian civil war (1989-1996).

Equally, the nature and character of the gross violations of the law will be addressed in the said civil war. Further, conceptual discussions on the law of armed conflicts and its mechanisms of enforcement will as well be offered in respect of the civil war in Liberia. In other to achieve this, the work has been divided into seven chapters, which will be discussed in line with the posed research questions.

We adopted the observation method for a descriptive study of this nature. Relevant data were generated from primary and secondary sources of institutional and official documents as well as textbooks, journals, magazines and other written studies. Our research design was based on ex-post facto model and our hypotheses were tested using the logical data framework. 


The self-centered nature of man has brought about conflicts of all kinds in the international political system today. The following conflicts, among other ones, have occurred since 1914 to date, namely: World War I, War II, the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, the Iraq-Iran crisis, Saudi Arabia-Kuwait, the USSR invasion of Afghanistan, the United States invasion of Grenada, the United States-Vietnam crisis, the Cuban missile crisis, the Ethiopian-Italian crisis, the Israeli versus Arab Nations crisis, the Spain-Moroccan war, the Rwanda-Burundi crisis, Nigeria-Cameroon border crisis, Tanzanian-Ugandan crisis, Ethiopia-Eritrea war, Somalia, Angolan, Sudan, SierraLeonean and the Liberian armed conflict (which is our particular area of study in this work).

There have been varying estimates of inter and intra-state wars and armed conflicts which have occurred throughout history. Edshardt, in Rourke (1997:12) in his eight hundred and ninety (890) years statistical study from 1110-1996, shows that this scientific study on armed conflicts has been of prime importance. The samples of ninety-four (94) armed conflicts came from the period 1919-1980, of which thirtyeight (38) occurred in the inter-war period, and fifty-six (56) since 1945. Of these, eighty-seven (87) could be classified as the major ones.

Again, the Armed Conflicts Report (2001:10) provides that: At the end of 2000, there were 40 armed conflicts being fought on the territories of 35 countries. The total number of armed conflicts was unchanged from the previous years, although the number of countries involved was down by one. In 1999, there were 40 armed conflicts in 36 countries, compared to 36 armed conflicts in 31 countries in 1998 and 37 armed conflicts in 32 countries in 1997. 


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CSN Team.



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