Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Conflict Resolution

First Advisor

David E. Matz

Second Advisor

Darren Kew

Third Advisor

Anthony Wanis-St. John


This study investigates the influences of military and diplomatic interventions of the United Nations (UN), the United Kingdom (UK), and the Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS), which may have influenced the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in accepting and implementing the `second Abuja cease-fire agreement' in May 2001, which ended the decade-long armed conflict in Sierra Leone. I used `Process Tracing' (PT), a method used to explore the causal mechanism between the interventions and the RUF's compliance to the second Abuja ceasefire agreement. First, I examined military and diplomatic interventions of the UN, the UK, and of the ECOWAS. For this I used secondary data, such as documents from the UN, the UK, the ECOWAS, and other studies regarding interventions in Sierra Leone. Then I explored if their interventions have had an influence on RUF's willingness to accept the cease-fire and to lay down arms.

To understand this causal mechanism, I used the testimonies of internal players such as the RUF, a pro-government force, as well as the testimonies and statements of external players such as the UN, the UK, and the ECOWAS. I found that the UN, the UK, and the ECOWAS have gradually intensified their military and diplomatic interventions from the beginning of the war in 1991 to the end in 2002. A sudden shock to RUF's relative military and leadership capacities were the two main reasons the RUF finally chose not to fight and instead to lay down their arms. Assumed benefits out of a power sharing agreement, as well as efforts to achieve peace, were contributing factors that RUF considered before they opted to not continue fighting. However, the results do not strongly support the causal mechanism that the shock to the relative military and leadership capacities was the consequence of the military and diplomatic interventions of the UN, the UK, and of the ECOWAS.


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