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Articles on Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

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Members of the Ecowas force at the Denton Bridge check point in Banjul, The Gambia, following Yahya Jammeh’s departure. Reuters/Thierry Gouegnon

How West Africa built the muscle to rout dictators and keep the peace

Regional power Ecowas, which has just seen off yet another dictator in Yahya Jammeh, started off with a tame agenda 42 years ago. But it was soon shaped by civil wars, military coups and despots
Presidents Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Muhammadu Buhari, Macky Sall and former Ghanian President John Mahama at a special meeting of Ecowas on The Gambia. Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde

What southern Africa can learn from west Africa about dealing with despots

SADC’s credibility is at stake. Its lack of political will in acting decisively against despots is at odds with the African Union’s goal of promoting legitimate governance on the continent.
Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow waves after his inauguration at Gambia’s embassy in Dakar, Senegal. But will he be able to go home? Reuters/Thierry Gouegnon

The questionable legality of military intervention in The Gambia

Military intervention is sanctioned and executed by states. It is thus always a function of state interests rather than the objective enforcement of law. The case of The Gambia is no different.
The Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh is under pressure from regional leaders to cede power. Reuters/Thierry Gouegnon

How The Gambia is testing West Africa’s resolve to protect democracy

The Gambian election dispute is not the first that ECOWAS has confronted. Côte d’Ivoire’s 2010 presidential election is a case in point. There it resorted to military action to enforce the outcome.
Gambian president-elect Adama Barrow during an interview in December 2016. Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde

A turning point for The Gambia, the smiling face of Africa?

There is a real sense of optimism in The Gambia: for the first time since Yahya Jammeh came to power, there has been open dissent of the regime and a feeling of ownership of the country’s future.

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