The West African Warscapes: Rebel Factions, Insurgent Opportunism and State Governance

John Idriss Lahai, Tanya Lyons

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    This chapter examines the character of insurgent opportunism, rebel governance and the political constructions of building peace and seeking justice in West Africa, with a special focus on Liberia and Sierra Leone, to explain the opportunistic origins, the nature and character of rebel governance, and its associated impact on the political economy of war. It also examines the reasons for the successes and the failures of two warring factions: The National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) of Sierra Leone, to institute an alternative governance infrastructure in their areas of political and economic control in these countries during the 1990s. Despite the differences in terms of these rebel group’s strategic governance frameworks within their overall war aims, it was the political and economic considerations around the question of state governance that made it difficult for peace deals to be reached. Until there is a balance between the political need for peace and people’s desire for justice on their own terms, and not by the interest-driven approach of the international community, peace will remain elusive.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAfrican Frontiers
    Subtitle of host publicationInsurgency, Governance and Peacebuilding in Postcolonial States
    PublisherAshgate Publishing
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Electronic)9781472460097
    ISBN (Print)9781472460080
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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