June 1, 2006 Sciences Po // Center For Peace And Human Security
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....
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. ...
West Africa is a region with a history of senseless wars that have often targeted civilians rather than combatants. In October 1998, Heads of State
and Governments of the 16 member states of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)1 formally signed the Moratorium on the importation, exportation, and manufacture of small arms and light weapons (SALW). ECOWAS Member States adopted a code of conduct as
well as a plan of action for the implementation of the Moratorium. The creation of national commissions for the fight against illicit trade and possession of small arm, verification strategies, and introduction of enduser certificates constitute major highlights of the document. This article provides a review of events in West Africa that have challenged the effectiveness and relevance of the Moratorium in addressing the
proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the region....
March 26, 2004 United Nations // Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations // FAO Economic and Social Department //
This paper examines food security in the context of conflict in West Africa. The analysis developed in the paper recognises the importance of defining conflict type and the trends in conflict so that conflict and post-conflict policies may be implemented. The relationship between food security and conflict is analysed. Whilst conflict exacerbates food security, food insecurity can itself fuel conflict. Strategies designed to assist in post-war rehabilitation need to address key dimensions of food security: availability, access and stability. It is argued in this paper, that consideration of these three dimensions are necessary joint conditions in moving towards a reduction in the numbers of hungry. The cases of Sierra Leone and Liberia are examined to consider the nature of conflict and how food security is being addresses and the necessary policy implications after prolonged violent conflict. Ghana is examined as an analytical contrast to show that the absence of conflict is not a sufficient condition for growth and reduced hunger....
July 13, 2006 Project on International Courts and Tribunals // African International Courts and Tribunals
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS/CEDEAO) is well known for its military intervention in Liberia and Sierra Leone. ECOWAS was created in 1975 to replace the Customs Union of West African States originally created in 1959 to redistribute customs duties collected by the coastal states of West Africa. The Treaty on the Economic Community of West African States was revised at the Cotonou Summit of July 1993 to replace the inexistent Tribunal originally envisioned with a Community Court of Justice....
Regional leaders created the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on May 28, 1975 in Lagos, Nigeria. ECOWAS is comprised of 15 countries, which include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire , The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria , Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. The leaders established ECOWAS to promote regional integration and economic growth in West Africa, as well as to create a monetary union in the region. However, ECOWAS has encountered problems in the process of regional integration including: political instability and lack of good governance that has plagued many member countries, the insufficient diversification of national economies, the absence of reliable infrastructure, and the multiplicity of organizations for regional integration with the same objectives....
This Country of Origin Information Report (COI Report) has been produced by Research Development Statistics (RDS), Home Office, for use by officials involved in the asylum/human rights determination process. The Report provides general background information about the issues most commonly raised in asylum/human rights claims made in the United Kingdom. It includes information available up to 20 February 2006.
September 17, 2004 Protection Project // School of Advanced International Studies // Johns Hopkins University
The Gambia is a country of origin and destination for trafficking of women and children for purposes of commercial sexual and labor exploitation. Children from Senegal are trafficked to The Gambia to work as domestic servants. Most end up being poorly treated or sexually abused. Those who run away end up in the street or in prostitution. In 2000, the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimated that 49,000 children between the ages of 10 and 14 would be economically active, representing 33.8 percent of this age group....
After a feasibility study conducted throughout the sub-region, representatives of seven West African countries in 1998 officially launched WANEP in Accra Ghana. They created WANEP as a mechanism to harness peacebuilding initiatives and to strengthen collective interventions that were already bearing good fruits in Liberia, the Northern Region of Ghana, and Sierra Leone.
The Institute provides concrete training and capacity building in how to investigate, prepare and present cases of human rights violations before the African Commission. The Institute serves as counsel for individuals and NGOs, litigating their cases against states parties before the African Commission. The Institute also publishes vital material on human rights and researches emerging areas of human rights law.
July 26, 2011 The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders // International Federation for Human Rights // SOS Torture Network
Following allegations of human rights violations against Gambian human rights defenders
and a public statement made by President Jammeh in 2009 threatening to kill anyone who
sought to sabotage and destabilise his Government, in particular human rights defenders
and those who support them, the World Organisation Against Torture and the International
Federation for Human Rights, in the framework of their joint programme,
the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, decided to send a fact-finding
mission to The Gambia.
The objective of the mission, which took place from May 2 to 11, 2010, was to assess the situation of human rights defenders, by drawing a panorama of the main actors of the civil society
operating in the country - both defenders of civil and political rights and economic social
and cultural rights - and the risks they face in carrying out their activities.
To that end, the mission was mandated to collect first hand information and testimonies on
the working environment of Gambian human rights defenders including NGO members,
trade-unionists and journalists as well as the effective enjoyment of their rights and notably
their freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly, their rights to a fair trial and
to an effective remedy....
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....
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....
November 2, 2010 Institute for Security Studies // L'Institut d'Etudes de Sécurité
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....
February 17, 2010 Committee to Protect Journalists
At least 71 journalists were killed across the globe in 2009, the Committee to Protect Journalists announced Tuesday, the largest annual toll in the 30 years the group has been keeping track.
Twenty-nine of those deaths came in a single, politically motivated massacre of reporters and others in the Philippines last November, the worst known episode for journalists, the committee said.
But there were other worrisome trends. The two nations with the highest number of journalists incarcerated — China had 24 journalists imprisoned at the end of 2009 and Iran had 23 — were particularly harsh in taking aim at bloggers and others using the Internet. The number jailed in Iran has since jumped to 47, the committee said. Of the 71 confirmed deaths, 51 were murders, the committee said. The report noted that 24 additional deaths of journalists remained under investigation to determine if they were related to the journalists’ work. Previously, the highest number of journalists killed in a single year was 67, in 2007, when violence in Iraq was raging....