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Abstract: I consider it a singular honour to have been invited today by Chatham House
to address this august forum. The Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS), which I represent, is a regional organisation which has,
over the years, gained your attention only for the unfortunate reasons of state
implosion and instability caused by bad governance and marginalisation. I
therefore welcome the opportunity to throw further light on its objectives,
challenges, and achievements, which factors have effectively brought
together fifteen West African states in the enterprise of improving upon the
living standards of 230 million people as well as integrating them.
The term ‘Chatham House Rule’ is today an internationally-accepted cliché
that this Institute has contributed to international diplomacy discourse, a
reference norm in rigorous and policy-oriented exchanges on global peace
and security. I therefore view your invitation to lead today’s discourse about
‘Democracy in the context of Regional Integration in West Africa’ as an
unique honour for me personally, and a recognition of ECOWAS as a leading
brand in regional integration.
Ladies and gentlemen, the evolution of ECOWAS can only be properly
understood against the backdrop of the fascinating history and circumstances
of West Africa since establishing contact with the world beyond its borders.
The fact that slavery, colonialism, as well as racial and economic
marginalisation, had left an intrinsic yearning for freedom, unity and solidarity
among peoples of African descent everywhere defines its wish to integrate its
states and peoples.
Abstract: This special research report provides an analysis of a set of new issues that have been emerging in the West African subregion and possible implications for the Security Council in the coming year(s). It identifies some key emerging threats to peace and security in the 16-state subregion and their linkages to existing security challenges. The report points to a key feature: the fact that some of the new threats are essentially criminal rather than political in nature. However, it explains also the growing political and security implications. The report also highlights action already taken by the Council to recognise these threats and considers options available to the Council to tackle these issues going forward.
The raw material for the study was derived from literature research; field research in a number of countries in the West African subregion (including Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria); and interviews in the region with diplomats, government officials and officials of relevant international intergovernmental bodies (e.g. UN Office in West Africa or UNOWA, UN Office for Drugs and Crime or UNODC, the Economic Community of West African States or ECOWAS and the AU), NGOs and academics.
Abstract: This report presents the analysis and recommendations
of the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa
Center in cooperation with the On the Horizon Project
to advance U.S. strategic interests in West Africa. Unaddressed problems of poor governance, severe poverty,
widespread public corruption, and growing insecurity from the
presence of criminal and militant enterprises engaged in theft,
terrorism, trafficking, piracy, poaching, and pollution will
continue to punish local populations and create conditions
of instability that undermine public order from greater levels
of armed confl ict and mass migration and threaten the
reliable flow of oil from the region. As noted in a recent United
Nations report, the “combination of coups from the top and
insurgencies from below render West Africa in the opinion of
the UN the least politically stable region in the world.” While this report focuses on the maritime
domain, the Atlantic Council approaches the regional
security challenges from a broad perspective. Security
issues are holistic and must be addressed as such. The
dynamics and consequences of insecurity in the maritime
domain are part of a wider, more complex political and
security dynamic encompassing rule of law, governance,
public capacities, and economic and human development
across geographic, societal, and national domains. Just
as the causes, manifestations, and consequences
of insecurity are comprehensive, so too must be the
preventatives and remedies.
This document provides a broad strategic-level analysis
and corresponding recommendations for action that can,
and we believe should, be supported and implemented
by U.S. and allied policymakers, African leaders, and key
Abstract: This paper aims to appraise and map the security challenges that have faced West African countries since independence with a special focus on the period after 1990. It also assesses the efforts made by various national, regional, continental and extra-African actors and makes suggestions on how the shortcomings in these efforts could be improved. An effort is made to show the evolution of at least some of the challenges over the years, in the hope that this could contribute to a better formulation of policy responses.
The study is based on extensive review of existing literature, complemented by field research in the region undertaken in July and August 2010, in addition to general familiarity with the region from many previous research visits on related subjects.
Without neglecting other issues that could be considered as security threats, and without attempting any hierarchical ordering of these threats, the paper focuses on the following six major issues: i) armed conflict, ii) military coups and unconstitutional changes of government; iii) mismanagement of electoral processes; iv) transnational criminality, particularly drug trafficking, terrorism and maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea; v) poverty and illiteracy; vi) climate change and environmental degradation.
Abstract: The government of Equatorial Guinea has set new low standards of political and economic malfeasance in handling its billions of dollars in oil revenue instead of improving the lives of its citizens, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
The 107-page report, "Well Oiled: Oil and Human Rights in Equatorial Guinea," details how the dictatorship under President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has used an oil boom to entrench and enrich itself further at the expense of the country's people. Since oil was discovered there in the early 1990s, Equatorial Guinea's gross domestic product (GDP) has increased more than 5,000 percent, and the country has become the fourth-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, living standards for the country's 500,000 people have not substantially improved.
"Here is a country where people should have the per capita wealth of Spain or Italy, but instead they live in poverty worse than in Afghanistan or Chad," said Arvind Ganesan, director of the Business and Human Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. "This is a testament to the government's corruption, mismanagement, and callousness toward its own people."
Abstract: La CEA/BSR-AC vient de lancer la onzième édition de son trimestriel avec pour nouveau titre: "Echos d'Afrique Centrale" afin d'ouvrir un espace plus large aux activités et événements relatifs au développement socioéconomique de la sous-region.
Abstract: La Guinée Equatoriale confirme en 2007 la vigueur de sa croissance économique, avec une croissance de son PIB réel de 9.8 pour cent après le taux de 5.3 pour cent enregistré en 2006. La relance de l’économie équato-guinéenne est due principalement à l’amélioration de la production du pétrole et du gaz, et au dynamisme des travaux de construction des infrastructures publiques. Elle s’accompagne d’une amélioration continue des performances dans le bâtiment et les travaux publics (BTP), les services bancaires, les télécommunications, le tourisme et la transformation du bois.
Abstract: Ce rapport contient des résumés sur les régions suivants: Afrique australe, Afrique de l’Est, Afrique de l’Ouest et Afrique centrale, et Afrique centrale, et aussi sur les thèmes suivantes: le double défi de la tuberculose et du VIH, circonsion masculine et préventions du VIH, epidémies latentes parmi les hommes ayant des rapports sexuels avec des hommes, la consommation de drogues injectables: un facteur croissant dans plusiers épidémies de VIH de L'Afrique Subsaharienne, et signes de changements vers des comportements à moindre risque.
Abstract: Resilience refers to the ability to rebound, maintain or strengthen functioning during and after a disturbance; to cope successfully in the face of extreme adversity or risk. In many cases where the term ´resilience´ is used, it is applied as a simple descriptor without analysis of why particular systems are resilient even when, by most accounts, they should not be. This paper provides (1) A framework for conceptualizing resilience with regard to vulnerable, fragile, and conflict prone states (in other words, what IS resilience and why is it relevant?) and (2) A small collection of case studies including Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Guinea and others which highlight particular adaptive strategies. The key argument of this research is that the nature of development strategies in such environments must
tend towards enhancing the capacity of local communities to self organize, by prioritizing experimentation and local ownership over project designs and outcomes.
Abstract: This overview report is a companion to the annual
survey on the state of global political rights and civil liberties, Freedom in the
The reports are excerpted from Freedom in the World 2007, which surveys the
state of freedom in 193 countries and 15 select territories. The ratings and
accompanying essays are based on events from December 1, 2005 through
December 31, 2006. The 17 countries and 3 territories profiled in this report are
drawn from the total of 45 countries and 7 territories that are considered to be
Not Free and whose citizens endure systematic and pervasive human rights
Included in this report are eight countries judged to have the worst records:
Burma, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, and
Uzbekistan. Also included are two territories, Chechnya and Tibet, whose
inhabitants suffer intense repression. These states and regions received the
Freedom House survey's lowest rating: 7 for political rights and 7 for civil
liberties. Within these entities, state control over daily life is pervasive and
wide-ranging, independent organizations and political opposition are banned or
suppressed, and fear of retribution for independent thought and action is part of
daily life. In the case of Chechnya, the rating in large measure reflects the fallout
of a vicious conflict that in the last 12 years has disrupted normal life and
resulted in some 200,000 deaths.
The report also includes nine further countries near the bottom of Freedom
House's list of the most repressive: Belarus, China, Cote d'Ivoire, Equatorial
Guinea, Eritrea, Laos, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Zimbabwe. The territory of
Western Sahara is also included in this group. While these states scored slightly
better than the "worst of the worst," they offer very limited scope for private
discussion while severely suppressing opposition political activity, impeding
independent organizing, and censoring or punishing criticism of the state.
Massive human rights violations take place in nearly every part of the world.
This year's roster of the "most repressive" includes countries from the Americas,
the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, and East Asia; they represent a wide array
of cultures and levels of economic development. This report from Freedom
House to the United Nations focuses on states and regions that have seen some
of the world's most severe repression and most systematic and brutal violations
of human dignity. The report seeks to focus the attention of the United Nations
Human Rights Council on states and territories that deserve investigation and
condemnation for their widespread violations.
[Ed. note: Exact publishing date not given]
Abstract: Freedom House has prepared this overview report as a companion to our annual survey on the state of global political rights and civil liberties, Freedom in the World. We are publishing this report to assist policymakers, human rights organizations, democracy advocates, and others who are working to advance freedom around the world. We also hope that the report will be useful to the work of the new United Nations Human Rights Council.
The reports are excerpted from Freedom in the World 2006, which surveys the state of freedom in 192 countries and 14 select territories. The ratings and accompanying essays are based on events from December 1, 2004 through November 30, 2005. The 17 countries and 3 territories profiled in this report are drawn from the total of 45 countries and 8 territories that are considered to be Not Free and whose citizens endure systematic and pervasive human rights violations.
Abstract: The Court of Justice of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS/CEEAC) is an institution that exists solely as a possibility on paper. ECCAS was founded upon the decision of the members of the Central African Customs and Economic Union (UDEAC) to form a larger community by merging with the Economic Community of the Great Lakes States and a few other states. The Community began to operate, with the appointment of a Secretariat in 1985.
Abstract: The Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) is the continuation (envisioned in 1994) of the Customs and Economic Union of Central Africa (UEAC/UDEAC) created in 1964. The CEMAC consists of two Unions, the Economic Union of Central Africa (UEAC) and the Monetary Union of Central Africa (UMAC). The Community Court of Justice is one of the organs of the overarching Community. One of the main goals of the CEMAC is the creation of a "true African Common Market." The Court is composed of a Judicial Chamber and Chamber of Auditors. Both chambers are functioning.
Abstract: Situated in between Ghana and Benin, with a coastline of no more than 56km, Togo is one of Africa's smallest countries. However, what has habitually been a little talked about West African nation holds a long history of political unrest and has recently entered into a phase of instability in the beginning of 2005. Civil society members and organizations are now regrouped in the WANEP network, (West African Network for Peacebuilding) in a joint effort to set a national agenda toward reconciliation, peace and security and lead the way in facing Togo's unprecedented public health, development and education challenges.
Abstract: Trafficking in Persons has become a major concern for all countries of Western Africa.
The Meeting of ECOWAS Heads of States, in December 2001, adopted a Declaration
and the ECOWAS Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons (2002-2003). It
directed the ECOWAS Executive Secretariat to prepare proposals for controlling trafficking
in persons in the sub-region, with special consideration to the situation of trafficked
The UNODC project FS/RAF/04/R60 on the "Assistance for the Implementation of the
ECOWAS Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons" will strengthen the capacity of
the ECOWAS Secretariat and its Member States in implementing the ECOWAS Plan of
Action, particularly as it relates to assessment of existing national legislation and the
drafting of new legislation in response to the United Nations Protocol to Prevent,
Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.
This Manual presents the definitions of trafficking in human beings and smuggling of
migrants as well as general guidelines on investigation and prosecution of cases related to
trafficking in human beings, with a focus on cooperation between ECOWAS Member
States. This Manual is to be used as reference material and in training activities under
Abstract: Equatorial Guinea nominally is a multiparty constitutional republic; however, in practice President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and the Mongomo sub-clan of the majority Fang ethnic group, which has ruled since the country's independence in 1968, dominated the Government. President Obiang, who has ruled since seizing power in a military coup d'etat in 1979, was re-elected with 97.1 percent of the vote and 98 percent of registered voters participating in a December 2002 election marred by extensive fraud and intimidation. The President's Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) controlled the judiciary and the legislature; the latter was chosen in elections in April that were criticized widely by the international community as seriously flawed. There was an attempted coup d'etat in March; 19 mercenaries in the capital city of Malabo and 70 mercenaries in Harare, Zimbabwe were arrested in conjunction with the plot. In November, 14 were convicted by a court in Malabo at a hearing open to international observers. The judiciary was not independent.
President Obiang forfeited some of his power through cabinet reforms in June, but he still exercised de facto control over the police and security forces. The new Ministry of National Security controls the police and gendarmes while the new Ministry of National Defense oversees the military. In a cabinet reshuffle in June, the President again named a member of the Bubi ethnic group as Prime Minister; the President also named one of his brothers as Minister of Defense; another brother as Senior Delegate of National Security; and his uncle as Minister of National Security, all positions previously held by the President himself. Ultimately, the cabinet reforms resulted in only a slight dilution of the President's power. Civilian authorities generally maintained effective control of the security forces; however, there were some instances in which security forces acted independently of government authority. The security forces committed numerous serious human rights abuses.
Abstract: This report assesses the availability of legal remedies for addressing corrupt practices in the natural resource industries. Legal Remedies for the Resource Curse is a digest of practical experience in using law to combat corruption across jurisdictions.
When resource extraction companies can obtain oil, diamonds, gold, coltan, timber, and other natural resources through covert contacts with unaccountable government officials, the losers are the people in the communities where the wealth originates. The power of corrupt governments frequently derives from monopoly access to natural wealth, bolstered by foreign government and industry allies. Local populations suffer the effects of the "resource curse," including the destruction of their immediate environment and the social and economic devastation that follows: arbitrary eviction and dispossession, unlawful arrest or harassment, and neglect of health care, housing, and education.
This report reviews some of the main legal instruments used to date to combat natural resource corruptionxe2x80x94as well as new, untested legal remedies that appear promising. Focusing on resource spoliation in Africa, it provides case studies to demonstrate what has and has not worked. The report treats the "home countries" of resource extraction companies separately from the "host countries" where they operate. It looks at both criminal and civil means of redress. Although corruption in transnational resource extraction is generally subject to inadequate legal safeguards, the report identifies opportunities for civil society action.
Abstract: An exceptional mix of U.S. interests are at play in West Africa's Gulf of Guinea. The region starkly illustrates both the challenges and the promise of efforts to foster democracy, respect for human rights, poverty alleviation, counterterrorism, regional conflict prevention and peacekeeping, and to curb HIV/AIDS and other infections diseases, organized crime, corruption, and instability. Also at stake are rising U.S. interests in the region's energy sector, already prominent and set to expand
even further in the coming decade. At# the same time, many countries in the region are vulnerable to instability and violence, stemming from vast internal disparities in wealth, poor governance, a lack of state capacity, and rising criminality.
Abstract: "How is it in our nation's interest," asked U.S. Sen. Carl Levin recently, "to have civilian contractors, rather than military personnel, performing vital national security functions xe2x80xa6 in a war zone?" The answer lies in humanity's long history of contracting force and the changing role of today's private security firms. Even as governments debate how to hold them accountable, these hired guns are rapidly becoming indispensable to national militaries, private corporations, and nongovernmental groups across the globe.
Abstract: This report includes detailed summations of the dire human rights situations in Belarus, Burma (Myanmar), China, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Haiti, Laos, Libya, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. Chechnya, Tibet, and Western Sahara are included as territories under Russian, Chinese, and Moroccan jurisdictions respectively. Six are members of the UN body, charged with monitoring and condemning human rights violations.
Abstract: This paper seeks to find out if previous micro-disarmament programs could serve as the basis for policy measures that could effectively tackle the problem of small arms and their misuse in the sub-region of Central Africa.
Abstract: Why has Africa had so much civil war? In all other regions of the world the incidence of civil war has been on a broadly declining trend over the past thirty years: but in Africa the long term trend has been upwards. Of course, every civil war has its xe2x80x98story' - the personalities, the social cleavages, the triggering events, the inflammatory discourse, the atrocities. But is there anything more? Are there structural conditions - social, political or economic - which make a country prone to civil war? Might it be that the same inflammatory politician, playing on the same social cleavages, and with the same triggering events, might xe2x80x98cause' war under one set of conditions and merely be an ugly irritant in another? Surprisingly, the dominant factors are economic. Three factors matter a lot for the risk of civil war: the level of income, its rate of growth, and its structure. If a country is poor, in economic decline, and is dependent upon natural resource exports, then it faces a substantial risk that sooner or later it will experience a civil war.