CONFLICTS AND INSECURITY: THREAT TO ECOWAS INTEGRATION AGENDA
The Second Quarter of 2012 witnessed an upsurge of violence in most countries in the sub-region. The Malian rebellion continues to linger on, violent extremism continued unabated in Nigeria and a coup attempt foiled in Cote d’Ivoire. A coup d'état in Guinea Bissau following the death of the former president and in the build-up to the 2nd round of its presidential election exacerbated the volatility of the region which was recuperating from an earlier coup in Mali. These events signal grave security implications for the entire sub region.
Insurgency has sustained in the North of Mali where Islamist militants have capitalized on the disharmony within the army and government in Bamako to relentlessly unleash terror on the citizenry. This situation has generated massive refugees and internally displaced persons which pose a threat to the neighbouring countries and across the sub-region. So far, an estimated number of 350,000 refugees have crossed Malian borders into Mauritania, Niger, Algeria and Burkina Faso thus compounding an already deepening humanitarian crisis due to drought and famine.
Conflict and insecurity in Mali has compounded the complex humanitarian emergency and vulnerabilities in the Sahel region, where food and nutrition crisis is affecting over 18 million people due to a combination of drought, high grain prices, environmental degradation etc. This scenario poses a serious concern as the inadequate food and non-food aids accessible to most host communities particularly in Burkina Faso has to be shared with Malian refugees.....