ECOWAS Intervention in Gambia: A Case Study of International Law on the Use of Force

Elkanah Oluwapelumi Babatunde


The United Nations (UN) Charter prohibits the use of force in international relations. The Charter limits the use of force to self-defence and pursuant to a Security Council resolution. International peace and security is best maintained when states do not interfere in the internal affairs of each other. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) intervened recently in Gambia in contravention of the UN Charter. In this essay, I discuss the ECOWAS intervention in the light of international law provisions on the use of force such Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, intervention based on invitation by the state involved, pro-democratic intervention, the right to democratic governance and the legitimacy of the ECOWAS intervention in Gambia.


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