n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - Partnerships and alliances in West Africa to combat crime and terrorism - : West Africa - issue in focus

Volume 2013, Issue 03
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With conflict in Mali driving multilateral cooperation between West African countries, is it worth taking note of the less dramatic, but nonetheless cooperative arrangements occurring in the region. The prevalence of transnational crime in West Africa has been noted particularly for its role in undermining regional security, and as such, special attention is being given to strengthening transnational ties in 2013. Senegal and Mauritania, for example, have committed to significant cooperation along their shared border in order to combat the threat of terrorism originating from Islamist extremist groups such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which operate in the region. This cooperative project was launched in late-December 2012, and reached operational levels in January of 2013. Similarly, other regional neighbours, Algeria, Chad, and Mali have made efforts to increase the security of their respective borders and develop closer security partnerships. This sort of inter-state cooperation is vital for providing security and stability in the region. In participating in such cooperative behaviour, these states also reinforce the fundamental principles of cooperation, participation, and common defence that underline the regional multilateral organisation, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

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