ABSTRACT

This chapter begins with a general overview of the mechanisms and normative frameworks which guided ECOWAS peace and security interventions in West Africa. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), originally established on 28 May 1975 as a sub-regional economic integration organization has, throughout its existence, faced considerable challenges stemming from insecurity, conflicts, and disasters in its member states to the extent that the organization had to initiate and implement response mechanisms to address these problems. Departing from the experiences of ECOWAS in peace-keeping, this chapter focuses on the creation and development of West Africa regional standby force in the context of an African Standby Force (ASF). In the immediate post-Cold War period, wars became increasingly internal, with sub- and non-state actors and groups rising up against legitimate governments, challenging their authority, and employing the use of sophisticated weapons and war tactics.