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The first in a series of ""inside"" histories, ""Peacekeeping in Sierra Leone"" relates how a small country one insignificant in the strategic considerations of the world powers propelled the United Nations to center stage in a crisis that called its very authority into serious question; and how the UN mission in Sierra Leone was transformed from its nadir into what is now widely considered one of the most successful peacekeeping missions in UN history. Funmi Olonisakin tells the story of this experience, highlighting the key moments, and the reasoning behind strategic decisions. She also captures UNAMSIL's internal struggle as it fought to regain some honor after the May 2000 crisis, when the UN had to rely on the infamous Charles Taylor to broker the release of 500 peacekeeper hostages. Olonisakin's rich narrative not only illuminates the ins and outs of the UNAMSIL mission, but also reflects on its meaning for current and future peace operations in Africa and beyond.
'Funmi Olonisakin is director of the Conflict, Security, and Development Group in the International Policy Institute at King's College London. She is also founding member of the International Governing Council of the London- and Lagos-based Centre for Democracy and Development. Her numerous publications include The Challenges of Security Sector Governance in West Africa and Reinventing Peacekeeping in Africa: Conceptual and Legal Issues in the ecomog Operations.