n African Security Review - Organised crime in West Africa : feature

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West Africa is generally regarded as an example of a humanitarian tragedy characterised by grand corruption, brutal civil wars and criminal anarchy. The history of dictators in the sub-region is among the factors that have contributed to the fuelling of this perception. Dictators such as Sani Abacha of Nigeria have sunk their countries deep into the bottomless pit of poverty and underdevelopment. Diamond trade, as well as trade in other natural resources such as oil has, in the public eye, been turned into a dirty affair. This article explores the development of organised crime in West Africa and the political, economic and social conditions that encouraged the growth of this phenomenon. In particular, it considers the major forms of organised crime in the region.


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