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ECOMILEcowas Mission in Liberia
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The ECOMIL operation continued until 1 October 2003, at which point most of its forces were "blue-hatted" and subsumed within a follow-on UN mission (UNMIL).
Although largely successful, the US-backed ECOMIL intervention still raises a number of issues in terms of principal-agent relations.
It was able to maintain its indirect support role, but one must ask what US forces would have done if the situation in Liberia had continued to deteriorate or if ECOMIL had been overwhelmed.
US military liaisons attached to ECOMIL units also provided, among other benefits, a monitoring function.
While the mostly Acholi women were displaced due to fighting between the government and insurgent groups, mainly the LRA in the 1990s, women in Liberia were displaced due to fighting between rebel groups, between rebel groups and the government, and between rebel groups and ECOMIL troops.
Decisions made by ECOMIL or various outside governments to intervene in the war on the side of the government or insurgent groups were not made with the safety and well being of Liberians in mind let alone women and girls.
The Nigerian government, through its role in ECOMIL, knowingly and willingly supported insurgent groups that allowed them to survive and flourish from the sale of resources, especially diamonds, under their control.
The UN took over security in Liberia in October 2003, subsuming ECOMIL into the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), a force that grew to over 12,000 troops and 1,148 police officers.
ECOMIL was dissolved and its military forces absorbed into UNMIL, which carries out diverse peacekeeping, civilian policing, and socio-economic assistance functions in support of Liberia's transition process.