Governance and conflict in the Mano River Union States: Sierra Leone a case study
The MRU states (Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) experienced more than two decades of bitter conflicts. With the exception of Guinea which was spared a full-scale civil war, the other three neighbouring MRU states went through violent civil conflicts which resulted in massive human suffering, social dislocation and the destruction of the region's economy.
Despite their different political backgrounds, MRU states came to share a similar political destiny characterized by bad governance which bred shared grievances and conflicts that resulted in shared catastrophic results across the sub-region. Bad governance, therefore, has been the major stumbling block to socio-economic growth and development in the sub-region. Fanning the flames of the conflicts was years of poor diplomacy and foreign policy of leaders of the region whose eventual shift in policy approach became pivotal in resolving the conflicts.
The sustenance of current peace and stability in the sub-region requires an integrated approach in promoting democratic good governance, economic liberalization, substantive citizenship and strengthened state-civil relations. MRU states must therefore collaborate with regional partners and the international community to consolidate democracy and bolster sub-regional integration and socio-economic growth and development.
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