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West Africa

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Chapter Summary

The global economic downturn had a significant effect on the sub-region, as commodity prices, with the exception of gold, fell sharply and remittances declined, though the latter not always as much as forecast. Guinea and Guinea-Bissau continued to experience high levels of instability marked by killings, including among members of the military cliques, which put the southwestern forest zone at risk. Political life in other countries, including Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin, remained fairly quiet. The international drugs trade continued to use the sub-region as a hub for the transport of cocaine to Europe. Guinea-Bissau reinforced cooperation with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and Venezuela to combat the trade. One spectacular incident underlining its expansion in West Africa took place in Mali, where a Boeing 727 was found in the northern desert zone after having transported vast amounts of cocaine from Venezuela.

Keywords: Benin; Burkina Faso; Ghana; Guinea; Liberia; Mali; West Africa



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