War Ending Agreements

Mattes and Savun (2009) overcome the problem of government commitment postulated by Ghent. They do so by arguing that the problem of engagement is much broader, as it also applies to rebel groups. Therefore, the success of a peace agreement depends on its ability to mitigate the problem of engagement between and between warring factions (Mattes and Savun 2009:738). With this in mind, they identify two types of provisions in peace agreements that can help resolve engagement problems and thus reduce the likelihood of a new war: provisions that reduce anxiety and increase costs (Mattes and Savun 2009:738). Anti-anxiety provisions are intended to ensure mutual security. Provisions that increase costs increase the use and cost of return to war by one of the parties. Significantly, unlike the various failed peace agreements, the Abuja II peace agreement was supported by the expression of the political will of ECOWAS and OAU to increase the cost of the continued violation of peace agreements by the implacable warring parties. In the case of ECOWAS, he threatened sanctions, including travel restrictions and the freezing of the business activities and accounts of the leaders of the recalcitrant belligerents and their exclusion from participation in the subsequent elections (Adebajo 2002). As for the OAU, at its 1996 summit in Yaoundé, Cameroon, it threatened to draft and promote a resolution calling on the United Nations to impose sanctions on intransigent warlords and to establish a war crimes tribunal (Adebajo 2002). Ghent (2007) examines the conditions for a successful peace agreement.

He argues that peace agreements that make enough concessions to the rebels are more credible because they reduce the government`s ability to break them. For example, if the rebels are represented in the transitional government, they could protect themselves from future defectors from the current government (Ghent 2007:5). In this context, it does not seem plausible that governments can agree to offer “everything” (i.e. territorial autonomy or full control of resources) and then be able to remove everything as soon as they regain strength after the civil war (Ghent 2007:5). In the specific case of the first Liberian civil war (1989-1996), which was at the center of this article, there was apparently an endless cycle of peacemaking and war resumption. This is evidenced by the fact that the various peace agreements have been repeatedly violated by the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) led by Charles Taylor (Kieh 2009; Mutwol, 2009). When the civil war finally ended in 1996, it took sixteen peace agreements to reach the final phase (Kieh 2009). Probably the first recorded peace treaty, although rarely mentioned or recalled, between the Hittite Empire and the Hayasa-Azzi Confederacy around 1350 BC.

It is best known that one of the first recorded peace treaties between the Heptite and Egyptian empires was concluded after the Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC. J.-C. (see Egyptian-Aseptic Peace Treaty). The battle took place in present-day Syria, with the entire Levant at the time disputed between the two empires. After an extremely expensive four-day fight, in which neither side gained a substantial advantage, both sides won the victory.. . . .

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