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Im part of a generation that unfortunately grew up during fourteenyears of war in Liberia and now is involved with the daunting task oftransforming the country from war to peace Understanding conflict withan array of analytical tools is vital for its resolution David Keensbook Complex Emergencies tends to be a useful synthesis of therealities of conflicts in the West African sub-region and other parts ofthe world Even though not exhaustive these ideas and facts presentedconform to my existing ideas and experiences There are several functions of violence and it does not alwaysconform to the view that it is done with the intention of winning thewar My engagement with ex-combatants and military personnel who wereheavily involved with perpetrating the worst violence brought me to thisinclination For them the violence made them acquired status wealthauthority superiority security prestige and fame or rathernotoriety Because of this they were not willing to halt their hostilebehavior Some economic activities are consistent with war Typical examplein the heyday of the Cold War the United States which has been thegreatest donor of aid to Liberia utilized aid as a means of maintainingthe political loyalty of the Liberian state and protecting US economicstrategic investment on Liberian soil Economic agendas of players in aconflict not only include rebels but also state elites in the affectedcountry and beyond Looking back on the intrigues of the wars inLiberia Sierra Leone and other parts of the region I agree with theanalysis of war economies that some economic activities are actuallymore profitable in conditions of conflicts The Liberian situation blossomed with lot of realities The EconomicCommunity of West African States Armed Monitoring Group ECOMOG aforce that was deployed in Liberia from 1990-1998 to maintain law andpeace protect life and property got involved in trading arms andammunition to belligerent factions Every Liberian faction and itsexternal backers developed an interest in the burgeoning war economyDiamonds gold drugs rubber wood looted goods scrap metal
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