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The discontent in Liberia, which found expression in a violent rebellion, was soon fanned across the sub-region by the inconsistencies of the Berlin boundaries in Africa. Faced with a defective global machinery for the resolution of armed conflicts, what should the neighbouring states do? The West African states found an answer to that conundrum by forcefully intervening on the grounds of a collective security interest in Liberia. In an age of widening conception of collective security, the West African states have urged as legal justifications, the invitation by the incumbent president of Liberia, collective self-defence and an 'ex post facto' ratification by the Security Council. The last justification in itself presents additional problems and worries regarding the criteria for such 'ex post facto' ratification and dangers of abuse. Would it become a hollow ritual to sanctify unilateralism in the use of force? What should be the advisable role of regional bodies in identifying and removing threats to collective security when the Security Council seems paralysed? This thesis attempts to tease out and examine the various ramifications of some of these issues.