The Gulf of Guinea, off the south coast of West Africa, has recently surpassed the more infamous Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia in East Africa, as the epicentre of maritime insecurity. This intelligence brief explores the drivers of the problem and the complex nature of the challenges and possible responses, and sets out forecasts for maritime insecurity in the region in 2014.
Open Briefing has today published the first of three synthesis reports from a major study forecasting insecurity and conflict in Africa in 2014. The report focusses on those countries of West Africa whose drivers and internal volatility are likely to create substantial levels of insecurity and conflict over 2014: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
Some narratives have painted West Africa as a region where conflict and insecurity occur naturally due to ethnic tensions and porous borders. In reality, the underlying sources and drivers of instability are critical to understanding events. This study from Open Briefing attempts to avoid generalisations by analysing specific factors and identifying forecasts for individual countries in the region.