"Ideally, peacekeeping operations demonstrate the concern of the international community in situations of instability or conflict arising between or within states. They are conceived to bring about peace and 'ensure the effective promotion and protection of [human] rights'. As a result, peacekeeping operations as well as peacekeepers are expected to comply with standards of human rights and humanitarian law. With respect to the Economic Community of West African States Cease-Fire Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), its intervention in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, and Côte d'Ivoire have been generally welcomed as a response to barbaric and devastating wars in West Africa. However, the observation of ECOMOG missions reveals several instances of violations of human rights and humanitarian law committed by ECOMOG peacekeepers. These violations include attacks against civilians, summary executions, rapes, torture, looting, etc. In other words, the saviours have turned into violators of rights. While these violations have provoked concern and indignation, few measures have been taken to address the problem, hold peacekeepers accountable and prevent abuses in the future. ... This study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one provides, among other, the background of the study, the statement of the research problem and the significance of the study. Chapter two gives an insight into the creation, structure, mechanisms and evolution of ECOMOG as the peacekeeping organ of ECOWAS. Chapter three examines the basis for the applicability of human rights and international humanitarian law to peacekeepers and shows the violations committed by the ECOMOG peacekeepers since 1990. Chapter four analyses the responses to abuses committed by ECOMOG peacekeepers. It discusses the national, regional and universal responses to these abuses. It investigates both prevention and accountability mechanisms existing to address abuses committed by ECOMOG peacekeepers. It also explores some potential accountability and prevention mechanisms. Finally, chapter five makes some concluding remarks and suggests specific recommendations for the improvement of the existing responses." -- Introduction.
Prepared under the supervision of Professor Nico Steytler at the Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2004.