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The overcrowded port of Elmina in Ghana, August 20, 2012. iStockphoto.

Policy Papers - July 16, 2014

Responding to Insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea

Patrice Sartre

 

 

The Gulf of Guinea has become notorious for violence, conflict, and political instability, which often have origins in bad governance, corruption, and failures of social and economic development. How can national governments and multilateral organizations best respond?

This policy paper reviews the roots of insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea—from the legacy of civil wars and failures of governance to piracy and crime on land and at sea. It then explores international, regional, and national responses, and addresses the strengths and weaknesses of existing conflict prevention and crisis management strategies.

The author concludes that the establishment of an effective, integrated, and legitimate security sector across the Gulf of Guinea is the key to lasting stability. Against this backdrop, he outlines nine detailed recommendations that seek to

• bolster the foundations of security in the Gulf of Guinea,
• strengthen legal and judicial checks and balances for the security sector, and
• enhance transnational cooperation to ensure security throughout the region.

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