This research examined the concept of collective security under international law and specifically examined the basis of the existence of such arrangements, the challenges and problems facing them and also proffered solutions to identified problems by way of recommendations at the end of the research. The doctrinal method of research was used to analyze the concept of collective security under international law generally with particular reference to the West African region. Some relevant literatures on collective security under international law were relied upon in the appraisal of the concept, starting from its historical evolution with the formation of the League of Nations to the United Nations (UN) and later regional arrangements like the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Some of the challenges and problems facing the various collective security arrangements locally and globally identified include, lack of funds to facilitate activities like peacekeeping operations and humanitarian aid, fighting environmental challenges like floods and earthquakes. Political military and legal challenges were also identified in the research. On the whole it was found out that the concept of collective security is a vital one to the development of peace and security at all levels. And in view of the challenges and problems identified it was therefore recommended that collective security arrangements should endeavour to intervene promptly in crisis of member states. Considering the slow response of the United Nations Security Council in crises of some member states we recommend the creation of a new organ with no permanent members, but representatives of all continents on rotational basis; and that among other things Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) should enhance its border security to reduce illegal migrations and proliferation of arms that contribute immensely to the acts of terrorism.

Title page – – – – – – – – –
Declaration – – – – – – – – –
Certification – – – – – – – – –
Dedication – – – – – – – – –
Acknowledgement – – – – – – – –
Abstract – – – – – – – – –
Table of Contents – – – – – – – – –
Table of Abbreviations – – – – – – – –
Table of statutes – – – – – – – – –
1.1 Background of the Study – – – – – –
1.2 Statement of the problem – – – – – –
1.3 Aims and objectives of the Research – – – – – –
1.4 Justification of the Research – – – – – – –
1.5 Scope of Research – – – – – – – –
1.6 Research Methodology – – – – – – –
1.7 Literature Review – – – – – – – –
1.8 Organizational Layout – – – – – –
2.1 Introduction – – – – – – – – –
2.2 Conceptual Clarification of Terms and Legal Framework- – – –
2.3 History and Development of Collective Security – – –
2.4 Types of Collective Security Bodies – – – – – –
2.4.1 The United Nations – – – – – – –
2.4.2 The African Union – – – – – –
2.4.3 North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) – – –
2.4.4 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)- –
2.4.5 The South African Development Community (SADC) – –
2.4.6 Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) – –
2.4.7 ANZUS Pact – – – – – – –
2.4.8 South East Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO) – – –
2.4.9 Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) – – – –
2.4.10 WARSAW Pact – – – – – – –
2.4.11 The Arab League – – – – – – –
3.1 Introduction – – – – – – – – –
3.2 The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) – –
3.2.1 The Authority of Heads of State and Government – – –
3.2.2 The Commission – – – – – – –
3.2.3 The Parliament – – – – – – – –
3.2.4 The Community Court of Justice – – – – –
3.2.5 ECOWAS Bank for Investment and
Development (ECOBANK) – – – – –
3.3 The Economic Community of West African States
Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) – – – – – –
3.3.1 ECOWAS before the Creation of ECOMOG – – –
3.3.2 ECOWAS after the Creation of ECOMOG – – – –

3.4 The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Mechanism on Collective Security – – – – – –

4.1 Introduction – – – – – – –
4.2 Global Challenges of Collective Security – – – – –
4.3 Regional Challenges of Collective Security with Particular
Reference to West Africa – – – – – –
4.3.1 Political Challenges – – – – – – –
4.3.2 Military Challenges – – – – – – –
4.3.3 Technical Challenges – – – – – –
4.3.4 Legal Challenges – – – – – –
5.1 Summary – – – – – – – –
5.2 Findings – – – – – – – –
5.3 Recommendations – – – – – – –
5.4 Conclusion – – – – – – – – –
References – – – – – – – –

The issue of security is paramount to all nations. It is one word that attracts the interests of all. Be it security of lives, property, good health, environment etcetera. It is against this backdrop that nations come together to form a body that is saddled with the responsibility of conflict prevention, resolution, management, peace keeping and enforcement in the form of “collective security.”
The concept of security has acquired the strength of an ideology. It has multiple interpretations depending on the objective one wants to attain. In the name of security, different kind of persons emerge; liberation fighters, nationalist, terrorists, tyrants, dictators etcetera.
In the affairs of modern nation states, wars are declared and fought, women, children and the aged ones are lost, men are arrested, tortured, fired, sentenced or jailed all in the name of security.
The concept of security can best be defined or understood when qualified. For example, national security is the ability of a nation to protect its interests and values from perceived threats. Wolfers assert that national security “is the protection of all values previously acquired”1. This we believe is an objective view of security.
The term collective security can be understood as a security arrangement in which states cooperate collectively to provide security for all, by the actions of all against any state within the group which might challenge the existing order by using force. 2
1. Onoja M.G.L. Peace Keeping and International Security in a changing world, Mono Expression, Ltd (1998) P. 20
2. Ibid

Apart from being a concept on its own, collective security also serves as an exception to rule of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state. That is, while Collective Security aims at promoting friendly relations and equality of states within the arrangement, it does not forget the sovereignty of a state that makes it independent and free from political or economic exploitation and dominance by any other state or entity. This is the most reason why both the concepts of Collective Security and non-intervention are recognized under the Charter of the United Nations.
The concept, though in existence for long, as will be pointed out in its historical evolution, developed in the 80’s after the end of the cold war between United States and Russia when the perception or idea of security changed and was no longer restricted to military issues, but also to socio-economic, political, environmental and gender issues.
The world generally is threatened by conflict spanning from one continent to another. Africa is facing major challenges on the path to sustainable peace and democracy. The dangers and hazards have changed considerably over the last few decades. Instead of wars between countries, it is internal conflicts which have come to the fore, fed by organized crime, terrorism and the privatization of force. Social tension, the growing divide between the rich and the poor and the distressing lack of alternatives for young people offer ideal breeding ground for extremist ideologies. Add the flourishing trade in small arms and one has the perfect recipe for violence 3.
3. Dr. Gernot Erler, Delivering a welcome address at an International Conference; Overstretched and Overrated? Prospects of Regional Security Policy in Africa and its European Support in Berlin-Germany from 9-10 February, 2011
But external dangers have also become more complex, requiring a coordinated approach at the regional, continental and global levels. Cross-border crimes ranging from arms to drug trafficking is challenging the state. Whenever cross-border criminal structures establish themselves, it is virtually impossible for individual national states to deal with these alone, rather it can only be tackled collectively and by cooperating with each other. 4
Thus, the need for nations to come together to establish an arrangement within themselves to tackle these huge problems of security becomes imperative. In all continents worldwide, there are regional security arrangements which form part of the collective international security arrangement. Collective Security concept therefore, is a strategy adopted by members of the international system to collectively restrain the use of force among its members. The principle stipulates that members would take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to peace and for the suppression of aggressive acts and breaches of the peace. 5
Apart from its being instrumental to the establishment of regional security arrangement, the collective security concept has also been adopted in many instances around the world to maintain international peace and security, a responsibility which is generally referred to as peacekeeping, peacemaking, peace support and in some instances peace enforcement operations.
4. Ibid
5. Adedoyin Omede, “The Nigerian Army and Peace Support Operations Under the ECOWAS: The ECOMOG Years” In: Gbor, J.W.T (ed) The Nigerian Army in Global Security, Megavons (West Africa) Ltd, (2004) p. 190
6. Ibid
It is in line with this activity that collective security has an important role to play in the provision of security and promoting peace within member states, the continent and world at large. Apart from the United Nations (UN), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Organization for Security and Corporation in Europe (OSCE), South East African Treaty Organization (SEATO), Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), the ANZUS PACT of 1951 and WARSAW PACT of 1955 that were mainly created to provide collective security to member countries, there are other regional organizations like African Union (AU), European Union (EU), South African Development Community (SADC) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that provide collective security to members even though not primarily formed for that purpose.
There are five basic assumptions underlying the theory of collective security listed out by Organski. 7
a. In an armed conflict, Member Nation States will be able to agree on which nation is the aggressor;
b. All Member Nation-States are equally committed to contain and constrain the aggression irrespective of its source or origin;
c. All Member Nation-States have identical freedom of action and ability to join in proceedings against the aggressor;
d. The cumulative power of the cooperating members of the alliances for collective security will be adequate and sufficient to overpower the might of the aggressor; and
7. Organski A.F.K.: World Politics, Knopf, New York (1958) p. 98
e. In the light of the threat posed by the collective might of the nations of a Collective Security coalition, the aggressor nation will modify its policies or if unwilling to do so, will be defeated.
Looking at all the foregoing assumptions, the fifth one is more often relied upon today by a collective security body to intervene in political domestic problems of Member States. In the Middle East, we have seen a “democratically elected” government in Afghanistan. In Africa we had the Libyan crisis where the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) helped the opposition that fought and ousted the government of Late Mu’ammar Gaddafi. The power tussle between the two major contenders of the Cote D’ivoire presidential election that saw two separate governments before later the current president Alassane Quattara was declared winner is also worthy of mention. There was also a coup d’etat in Niger Republic which led to the intervention of the ECOWAS to see democracy restored to the country. The Arab league had also intervened in the crisis in Syria even though without success, because the violent demonstrations calling for the steeping down of President Bashar Al-Assad have continued. 8 The world has been watching with dismay the violent crisis that engulfed the Maghreb countries with Egypt first, then Tunisia, Libya and now Syria. All these calls for intervention by collective security bodies if not for any reason, but on humanitarian grounds.
Recent development of global crisis and tensions of war and war-like activities that threatens the peaceful co-existence and security of lives and property necessitated this research. The African continents have also become a centre of war with
8. retrieved 2nd , September 2012
violence erupting in almost all regions despite the various conflict prevention, management and resolution mechanisms in existence.
The African continent has been bedeviled by violent changes of government, country after country has been engaged in internal strife, religious or tribal conflict and or war. Countries like Nigeria, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Congo, Rwanda, Togo, Liberia, Mali, Cote D’ivoire, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Syria to mention a few, have undergone, and some are still undergoing crisis. There is also the doctrine of Non-intervention in the domestic affairs of independent states as enshrined in Article 2 (7) of the United Nations Charter of 1945.
All these developments and others prompted the current researcher to embark on a fact finding mission in order to find answers to the questions below:
a. Is the general rule of non intervention in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state being violated with the emergence of the concept of collective security?
b. Was there any legal basis for the emergence of collective security arrangements at regional levels?
c. Are regional collective security arrangements not a duplication of the United Nations Security Council?
d. Who has the right to order intervention in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state under the collective security arrangement?
e. How are funds generated and expended in the arrangement?
f. What are the circumstances that lead to the intervention by a collective security body?
g. Can a country by virtue of being a member of a collective security body intervene in the domestic crisis of a fellow member?
h. Are there sanctions for illegal interference by the collective security body?
i. How can a nation be compensated for an unnecessary interference in its domestic affairs?
j. Is there any time limit that the collective security body set out for any mission?
All these and more are questions that the research seeks to answer.
The main objective of the research is to examine the concept of collective security under international law. The specific objectives are:
a. To examine the problems of collective security arrangements. That is how the body is controlled, problems of funding, going ultra vires its powers during a mission, prolonged stay in a mission etcetera.
b. To examine the arguments for or against the existence of collective security bodies.
c. To proffer solutions to identified problems. As the essence of any research of this nature is to suggest or recommend ways that will tackle the problems that necessitated the research.
This research is necessary in the wake of global crisis leading to recent intervention in one form or the other by collective security bodies in the affairs of other sovereign states. The recent intervention by the NATO in the Libyan crisis is one out of the many instances. The attempt by the Arab League to negotiate in the Syrian crisis by sending a peace envoy is also one of such interventions in the domestic affairs of a sovereign nation that needs to be discussed.
The issue whether the right of intervention exercised by these bodies or member countries is legitimate or not has led to frequent debates. Hence, the need to embark on a research of this nature. The findings of the research will add current ideas and also bring to the fore issues of concern that are yet to be covered by the international laws and conventions in respect of collective security.
This research will be of immense benefit to students, lecturers, judges, legal practitioners, legislators and the general public.
The research work will appraise the concept of collective security generally and with particular reference to West Africa, because of the role ECOWAS has played in providing security for the region.
The research methodology adopted in this research is the doctrinal method, where the researcher relies heavily on theory rather than practical means. Primary materials like Statutes, Case law, Treaties and Protocols; and secondary materials like textbooks, articles, journals, commentaries and others like the internet materials and newspapers, will be used for the research.
The world generally is concerned about security, be it on individual basis (states acting alone) or collectively (states coming together to protect each other). The United Nations 9 in maintaining international peace and security, take collective
measures to acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and this can be done either by the Security Council of the United Nations or the regional and sub-regional collective security bodies. Chapter VII of the UN Charter in article 39-50 provides for Collective Security and article 51 provide for Collective defence. Furthermore, chapter VIII of the same Charter in articles 52-54 makes provision for the creation of Regional and Sub-regional Collective Security Arrangements. This we can say is the basis upon which any discussion on Collective Security can be based far as this work is concerned.
Professor Ladan, 10 in one of his pioneer works on peace and security in ECOWAS observed that though it was mainly created for the economic integration of member states , the ECOWAS later had to adopt Protocols to extend the scope of its activities to cover collective security and mutual defence of the region adding that this collective security role was to be tasted through the deployment of a West African peace Keeping operation in Liberia and later countries like Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau and Cote D’ivoire.
This work serves as a reference for the examination and appraisal of the concept of collective security from the West African perspective, in areas of peacekeeping activities which is one of the main areas this research work considers.
According to Dr. F.C Asogwa, 11 the practice of Collective Security requires all nations to join one universal alliance instead of two or more balancing alliances.
When associated in this manner, each nation adjusts its individual interest in favour of the group interest.
9. The United Nations Charter of 1945
10. Ladan M.T. Introduction to ECOWAS Community Law and Practice: Integration, Migration, Human Rights access to Justice, Peace and Security, A.B.U, Press Ltd Zaria, 2009.
11. Asogwa, F.C.: Understanding International Relations, Voughasen Press Ltd, 1999
The major constraints of these conclusion is that the author only looked at the positive side of a universal collective security system, without addressing issues like the domination of developed nations (like the five permanent members of the United Nation security council) over developing or under developed nations in such bodies. This research seeks to delve into addressing such issues.
Mitikishe Maxwell Khobe, 12 in his own contribution described West Africa as a hot bed for political, economic and social agitation that resulted in the growth of insurgent and revolutionary movements supported largely by the economically marginalized youth and estranged members of the elite. The problem of multi-ethnic nature of member states’ struggles for political power and economic privileges and more led to the formation of ECOWAS monitoring group (ECOMOG).
This research admits the position of Khobe and even goes extra mile to consider bad governance in Africa and the constant intrusion of military into democratic governments by way of coup D’tats and the looting of public funds which breads resentment and hatred for governments and with the passage of time gives rise to these insurgents that obstruct the peace and security.
Lawrence Onoja, 13 examined collective security from the point of view of aggression. According to him aggression is the root cause of international conflicts and that it is precisely because of aggression that the idea of collective security came into existence. He was of the opinion that Iraq’s attack on Kuwait could be
12. Khobe, M.M.: “The Evolution and conduct of ECOMOG operations in West Africa” : published in monograph No. 44 Boundaries of Peace support operation, February, 2000
13. Onoja, M.G.L: Peacekeeping and International Security in a Changing World, Mono Expression Ltd, 1998
regarded as a threat to peace and international security and that the USA and its allies acted lawfully and legally for and on behalf of other states when they attacked Iraq with the ultimate aim of preventing it from committing further acts of aggression. Onoja’s work did not take into cognizance the fact that these super power nations just need a nod of the head in support of their use of power to dominate and they will target another independent state as was the case with the war in Afghanistan. This issue of domination is one of the major problems associated with the concept of collective security this work intends to discuss.
Apart from the aforementioned works, there are other articles in edited books touching on different aspects of the subject under study.
Dr. Adedoyin Omede, 14 writing on the role of Nigerian army in global peace argues that the collective security is a strategy adopted to restrain the use of force among its member states. He elaborately discussed how the Nigerian army was instrumental to realization of peace and security in the West Africa region. According to him, this was done through their domination of virtually all peacekeeping activities embarked upon by the ECOWAS. The work was detailed on military activities alone and did not go further to discuss other issues of pressing concern like peace building after restoring law and order to troubled states. This area is covered by this research.
P.K. Inokoba,15 examined the threats the transnational organized crime poses to national and international security. He stated that cross-border illicit drugs and
14. Omede, A. “The Nigerian Army and the Peace Support Operations under the ECOWAS: The ECOMOG years” In: Gbor, J.W.T (ed): The Nigerian Army in Global Security, Megavons (West Africa) Ltd, 2004
15. Inokoba, P.K. “Globalization and Transnational Organized Crime: The Synergy and its implication for National and International Security” In: Isaac O.A. et al (eds), Peace, Security and Development in Nigeria, John Archers Ltd Abuja, 2012
arms trade are great threats to national security and are problems not limited to one region alone but spill into a wide geo-political context with increasing consequences for world security as a whole. This research concurs with this view because the sale of small arms and light weapons has made many people armed and causing many lost of lives than expected whenever a conflict starts. This makes it difficult to contain the conflict within a small area; rather it escalates within the shortest time possible. It is due to cross-border activities that violence moves much more rapidly. These indeed cause more problems for collective security and infact as far as the West Africa region is concerned, it has made provision on how to tackle such cases in the mechanism for collective security of 1999. What remains to be seen is how effective these provision will be used to curtail if not fully eliminate these threats.
In addition to the foregoing, there exist other foreign literatures on some aspects relating to collective security.
Alexander Orakhelashvili, 16 writing on collective security stated that multiple regional arrangement have been established to compensate for the insufficiency of the United Nations by providing a regional capability to deal with regional crisis. The process of multiplying institution according to him raised the question on how and in what manner these institutions are supposed to co-habit within the same international legal system.
In as much as we agree with the first part of this statement, the question of how they will co-habit in the international legal system has been taken care of by Article 52 of the United Nation Charter 1945 provides the legal basis for the formation of such
16. Orakhilashivili, A. Collective Security, Oxford University Press, London, 2011
regional bodies. This research work shall examine some of these regional arrangements and how they complement the United Nations security system.
Johnson and Niemeyer, 17 looked at the concept of collective security different from the above literatures. To them the idea seems unnatural because a system of independently conceived national security policies implies the expectation of war as a dominant factor. But recent activities of these bodies shows that Nation States are no longer at war with each other, but that internal conflict like in the case of Liberia are mostly the problem.
A similar observation was made by Kolb, 18 wherein he stated that Collective Security seems too rational an abstract construct to fit political realities. That in reality state interest and position do not suit collective security requirements conceptually and that Collective Security is one of those things which are eminently reasonable but cannot be fully realized.
Apparently, this analysis is derived from the activities of the League of Nations and the present United Nations. The work did not examine any regional arrangement before drawing its conclusion. It is the intention of this researcher to discuss Collective Security from the regional perspective too.
Several other literatures exist on the concept of Collective Security and shall be relied upon in the course of writing the thesis.
17. Johnson H.C. and Niemeyer G. “Collective Security: The Validity of an Ideal” 8 International Organization, 1954
18. Kolb, R: “The Eternal Problem of Collective Security: from the League of Nations to the United Nations” 26 Refugees Quarterly, 2007
For a smooth and orderly presentation of the research work, this thesis is divided into five chapters.
The first chapter contains the general introduction. There is the background of the study, the statement of problems, aims and objectives of the research, the scope and limitations of study. It also contains research methodology and a literature review.
In the second chapter, there is the conceptual clarification of terms, where the concepts of security and Collective Security are defined as perceived by various authors, and also the legal framework. The second part of the chapter will discuss the history and development of Collective Security. Tracing its origin from early times when people defended themselves collectively to the formation of the League of Nations, the subsequent formation of the United Nations Organizations and later regional and sub-regional organization like the ECOWAS and ECOMOG. The types of collective security bodies like the United Nations, African Union, European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization and a host of others will also be discussed.
In chapter three, the West African Collective Security Concept will be discussed. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is the regional body that is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring peace and security in the region. We will discuss the evolution of the ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) and the mechanism on Collective Security which is the Protocol relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security of 1999.
The mechanism has incorporated aspects like humanitarian intervention by ECOWAS, provision of a zonal early warning system to make the body prepare and respond to crisis before they escalate etcetera.
The first part of chapter four deals with global challenges of collective security, like the use of the veto power by the five permanent members, the problems of armament, environmental hazards and more. The second part will discuss regional challenges with particular reference to West Africa in four broad categories of political, military, technical and legal challenges.
Finally, chapter five concludes the research with the summary, findings and recommendations.
The emergence of the concept of collective security means there have been in existence individual security bodies for the different states that come together to form an alliance in the form of collective security to protect all Member States from the aggression of any other State within or outside the organization. The idea of collective security was a dream entertained by the enlightenment of philosophers, who wished to end once and for all, the conflicts and schemes of unscrupulous leaders whose ambition has nothing to do with their subjects well being. The idea of progress, freedom and happiness too, is rooted in the theoretical conception of collective security. It was at the instance of a philosopher-head of state, Woodrow Wilson (a professor of political philosophy at Princeton), that the concept became a reality with the League of Nations, then later with the support of another American, Franklin D. Roosevelt that the United Nations was found. 1
The nature of the concept is such that it addresses the issues of improper use of armed forces in different states to curb civil disturbances without state going beyond the required measure of force that is to be used to the extent that at the end, a reward of more loss than gain is attained.
The concept of collective security can also go hand in hand with the issues of human rights and international human protection. This chapter discusses the conceptual clarification and legal framework; history and development of the concept and also some of the types of Collective Security arrangements with a view
1. Watson J.B. Success in 20th Century World Affairs, John Murray Publication Ltd, London (1984) p.



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