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Exclusive: General Béhanzin on defence and security in West Africa and...

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In an exclusive interview, General Francis Béhanzin, the former Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security at the Economic Community of West African States...

Russia’s Africa Corps – more than old wine in a new...

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The Russian military company Wagner appears to have been renamed the Africa Corps by Moscow, and brought under the control of Russia’s Defence Ministry....

Ecowas: why withdrawal of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso signals fresh...

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On 27 January 2024, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger announced their plan to withdraw from membership of the Economic Community of West African States...

Why aren’t sanctions preventing coups in Africa?

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In response to the resurgence of coups since 2019, the African Union (AU) and regional economic blocs have issued sanctions against errant states, predominantly...

ECOWAS plans to up maritime security

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ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) Chiefs of Naval Staff met in Togo this week to strengthen maritime operations and combat illicit maritime...

ECOWAS, UN join forces in counter-terrorism effort

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Terrorism and violent extremism in West Africa are specific targets of a just-confirmed memorandum of understanding (MoU) between regional bloc ECOWAS and the United...

ECOWAS gearing up to fight cybercrime

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Preventing and fighting cybercrime in West Africa moved up a gear this week with the launch of a joint platform by regional bloc ECOWAS...

Niger coup: Ecowas must do these 3 things to break the...

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It’s been a month since military guards under the command of General Abdourahamane Tchiani ended 12 years of democratic governance in Niger. The situation...

ECOWAS still working diplomatically for order in Niger

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will continue pursuing diplomatic initiatives toward restoration of constitutional order in Niger without compromising the option...

Niger: another symptom of Africa’s weak crisis-response capacity

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Last month’s coup in Niger once again revealed Africa’s crisis of multilateralism. Political and security developments in Niger and other African countries confirm the...

Niger is a key player in the Sahel region – four...

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The Niger coup – the fifth in the Sahel and sixth in the broader west Africa region in three years – has pushed the...

Niger: Ecowas military intervention could trigger three bad outcomes

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The threat of military force to end the coup in Niger has led to significant divisions in the region. It has heightened tensions in Niger...

African-led peace operations: A crucial tool for peace and security

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African-led peace operations have been vital tools for managing Africa’s complex array of security challenges, though continued reform is needed to intervene more decisively...

ECOWAS Standby Force activated after Niger coup

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In the wake of the coup d’état in Niger, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is “immediately activating its Standby Force with...

Niger coup: why an Ecowas-led military intervention is unlikely

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Hopes are fading for a quick resolution of Niger’s coup or the potential use of force by the Economic Community of West African States...

West African countries show how decades of working together build peace,...

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Africa is often portrayed as a continent ravaged by war, terrorism, poverty and political instability. But over the past five decades few violent conflicts...

ECOWAS accesses EU naval experience

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) tapped into the experience of the European Union (EU) naval forces to “suppress illicit maritime activities”...

ECOWAS urges cooperation to end illegal fishing

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West African officials are saying that the scourge of illegal fishing can only be addressed with a regionally united front. They are calling for...

Mali’s junta feels sting of international isolation

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Mali’s military junta has backed itself into a corner. After the transitional government refused to hold democratic elections in 2022, the Economic Community of...

ISS: Beyond ECOWAS sanctions, how can Mali overcome the crisis?

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On 14 January, huge crowds gathered in Mali’s capital Bamako and other towns to denounce sanctions imposed on the country by the Economic Community...

Mali expels West African bloc envoy -foreign ministry

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Mali’s transitional government has given the special representative from West Africa’s main regional bloc 72 hours to leave the country over “actions incompatible with...

Guinea junta brushes off impact of ECOWAS sanctions

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The leader of Guinea's recent coup told a delegation of West African leaders he was not concerned about new sanctions imposed by the regional...

ECOWAS goes the sanctions route against Guinea and Mali

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West Africa's main regional bloc imposed sanctions against the junta in Guinea and those slowing Mali's post-coup transition - its toughest response yet to...

‘Serious decisions’: West African leaders to hold summit on Guinea coup

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West African leaders will meet on Thursday to decide how to respond to the coup in Guinea and how to pressure the junta leaders...

West African regional bloc suspends Guinea after coup

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West Africa's main political and economic bloc suspended Guinea's membership on Wednesday following a weekend military coup that ousted President Alpha Conde and dealt...

Guinean political prisoners freed, regional bloc to discuss coup

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Guinea's military leaders have freed scores of political prisoners before a meeting of West African leaders to discuss their response to Sunday's coup that...

West African bloc suspends Mali over coup, but no new sanctions

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West African regional bloc ECOWAS on Sunday suspended Mali's membership in response to last week's coup and said authorities must stick to a timetable...

Top Malians resign

Mali's interim president and prime minister resigned on Wednesday, two days after they were arrested by the military, an aide to the vice president...

ISS: Slow progress for West Africa’s latest counter-terrorism plan

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With several task forces and initiatives already operating, securing commitment for one plan was never going to be easy. More than a year after adopting...

ISS: Côte d’Ivoire should learn lessons from past election crises

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A failure to link current and past electoral problems is leading the country down a democratic dead end. The crisis in Côte d’Ivoire has considerably...

ISS: Third terms for presidents of Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea must...

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Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire will hold presidential elections this October. The polls are vital for the countries’ stability. But the outgoing leaders of both countries...

Nigeria says Mali transition government yet to satisfy regional demands

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West African states are not ready to lift sanctions on Mali because the leaders of an 18 August coup have not yet satisfied all...

No ECOWAS/Mali agreement

West African mediators failed to persuade Mali military coup leaders to hand power to a civilian government during talks on Tuesday, the chairman of...

ISS: Dealing with crises in Africa – south vs west

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Civil society groups, opposition leaders and commentators ask why the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is quiet on crises such as those in Zimbabwe,...

“Disease” of Mali coup needs stamping out, say neighbours

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Mali’s West African neighbours said on Friday that sanctions they imposed over a coup there were needed to stamp out the “disease” of military...

Mali’s neighbours tell junta to transfer power to transitional govt

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Mali’s West African neighbours on Friday told the military junta which seized control ten days ago that it must transfer power to a civilian-led...

West African leaders to push Mali junta to hand over power...

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West African leaders seeking a return to democracy in Mali will on Friday demand that the military junta that ousted the president in a...

Some agreement, but issues remain as West African mediators meet Mali...

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Mediators from West Africa’s regional bloc reached agreement on certain points in talks with Mali’s military junta that are aimed at returning the country...

Region’s presidents plan Mali visit as junta, opposition close ranks

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West African presidents plan to fly to Mali as regional powers escalate efforts to block a coup-driven regime change, two sources said, after an...

West Africa proposes plan to resolve Mali crisis; opposition unimpressed

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West Africa’s regional body on Monday proposed a four-point plan to resolve Mali’s political crisis that it says should be implemented within ten days,...

West African presidents to head to Mali to help solve crisis

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A delegation of at least three West African leaders will head to Mali this week to try to end a political crisis that has...

Mali opposition rejects ECOWAS proposals on ending political crisis

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An influential opposition group in Mali rejected a proposal by regional mediators on Sunday aimed at ending a political crisis in which at least...

ECOWAS recognises Embalo as Guinea-Bissau president

West African regional bloc ECOWAS recognises Umaro Sissoco Embalo as winner of Guinea-Bissau’s presidential election as it attempts to draw a line under a...

$1 billion pledged to fight Islamist militancy

West African leaders pledged $1 billion to combat the spiralling threat of Islamist militancy in the region, the head of the regional ECOWAS bloc...

ISS: West Africa doesn’t need another counter-terrorism force

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On 14 September, leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will hold an extraordinary summit on terrorism in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso....

ECOWAS sanctions imposed on top Guinea-Bissau residents

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West African regional bloc ECOWAS hit 20 Guinea-Bissau politicians and businessmen with sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes accusing them of...

ECOWAS extends Gambia military mission

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West African troops extended a military mission in Gambia by a year after entering the country in January to force out longtime...

ECOWAS threatens sanctions in Guinea-Bissau

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West African regional bloc ECOWAS is ready to impose targeted sanctions against those it deems responsible for blocking implementation of a deal...

West African force in Gambia to be reduced to 500 soldiers...

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Thousands of soldiers from West African bloc ECOWAS will start returning home this month from Gambia, from where long-time leader Yahya Jammeh...

Regional force’s mission in Gambia extended by three months

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A West African military operation that pressured Gambia's long-time leader, Yahya Jammeh, to step down and flee into exile has had its...