Security and Stability in the Gulf of Guinea

Security and Stability in the Gulf of Guinea

Gabriel Metogo US Army War College | March 15, 2006
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This paper addresses major security and stability challenges in the Gulf of Guinea, including how the absence of peace serves as an impediment to development. Recommendations are offered regarding the best way to advance security and stability in the region surrounding the Gulf of Guinea.

"The purpose of this paper is to discuss some major challenges inherent to security and stability in the Gulf of Guinea (GG), a large area encompassing 23 countries including: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. The 8,200 km2 of the GG is in majority plane level with high ground culminating in Mount Cameroon (4,095 m). The high ground constitutes a line of separation between the coastal and interior plane. The northern section of the GG is composed of semiarid terrain (sahel), a transitional zone between the Sahara desert and the savannahs. Equatorial forest forms a third belt between the savannah and the coast. 

Five major periods characterize the history of the GG. The first period is prehistory, in which the first human settlers arrived, agriculture developed, and contact was made with the Mediterranean civilization in the North. The second period, the iron age experienced consolidated trade and the development of a centralized form of government. Several empires and kingdoms, beginning with the Soninke Ghana Empire in the eighth century, developed a tradition of strong leadership that lasted until the fifteen century. Third period is the time of slave trading kingdoms, Muslim wars and colonial invasion. The colonial period is the fourth period, a time during which France, the U.K., Belgium, Portugal and Spain controlled the region and actually shaped the modern day countries. The fifth period is the current post colonial era. Following World War II, nationalist movements, starting with Nkwame Nkrumah of Ghana, led sub-Saharan Africa to independence from 1957 to 1975..."


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