This paper examines issues concerning forced displacement of people in Colombia and Liberia within the context of 20th-century internal armed conflicts. It explores how displacement is related to group identities such as gender and age, and it examines the displacement crisis in Colombia and Liberia. It argues that a commitment–implementation gap, or the failure of Colombia and Liberia to implement effective strategies to meet their commitment to global norms and principles as stipulated in the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, limits these countries’ ability to manage their displacement crisis effectively.
In the milieu of chronic conflict and political instability, such as the Liberian case, there is a continuous flux of peaks and valleys in conflict intensity. Both relief and development are needed, and they are not mutually exclusive. A linear model is not possible. In lieu of the relief-development continuum, a more recent concept embraced by humanitarian and development practitioners, is that of developmental relief. Developmental relief is rooted in the concept of supporting livelihoods rather than simply providing basic relief. Through the use of a case study, this article is intended to challenge the way we think about humanitarian assistance during protracted political instability. This field report focuses on how one organization, the Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Initiative (SARDI) of the United Methodist Church, has used the Integrated Pest Management-Farmer Field School format to provide developmental relief to four villages in Nimba County, Liberia.
The aim and objective of this paper is the presentation of only the second major involvement of an African regional organisation in the internal affairs of a member state. The civil war in Liberia is significant for two reasons. First, it served as an important example of a new type of external intervention – intervention by a subregional organisation. Second, it has led to a re-examination by African leaders, of the policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of states. Non-intervention in the internal affairs of states is one of the principles underlying the OAU.
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