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This article is concerned with examining the dynamics of trust-building in a pre-intervention context.' Specifically, it will analyse the concept of trustbuilding prior to the ECOWAS humanitarian interventions in Liberia and Sierra Leone, although the general thrust of my argument will no doubt apply to other African interventions.' Humanitarian intervention can be taken to mean: Intervention in a state involving the use of force (U.N. action in Iraq and Somalia or ECOWAS action in Liberia and Sierra Leone) or threat of force (U.N. action in Haiti), where the intervenor deploys armed forces and, at the least, makes clear that it is willing to use force if its operation is resisted-as it attempts to alleviate conditions in which a substantial part of the population of a state is threatened with death or suffering on a grand scale.' Within this context, trust-building should be seen as the pre-intervention political processes that seek to demonstrate, assess and verify the predictability of behaviour of all parties to a given conflict, and forecast the consequences of that behaviour with respect to political outcomes (the probability that an intervention will succeed)? In this sense, a viable pre-intervention trust-building scheme should seek to proffer all parties to a conflict, including the de jure government, factional leaders, civilian populace and humanitarian enforcers (herein relevant parties), a transparent and detailed overview of the political, legal and operational significance and ramifications of intervention. This does not necessarily mean that trust will emanate amongst the relevant parties by following this approach, nor that the conflicting parties would favour or support intervention if this method were followed, but only that they may attain a confident expectation that the intended operation is not ill-intended nor illegitimate. Simply stated, my thesis is as follows: Pre-intervention trustbuilding can determine post-intervention operational outcomes and the extent to which a humanitarian enforcement operation may succeed.' Hence, I argue that the primary reason why the Liberian mission encountered many more problems than the one in Sierra Leone is due in part to the degree of preintervention trust-building that took place.