Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 09/2014

Responding to Insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea

Patrice Sartre

July 2014

International Peace Institute


The Gulf of Guinea has become notorious for violence, conflict, and political instability, which often have origins in bad governance, corruption, and failures of social and economic development. How can national governments and multilateral organizations best respond?

This policy paper reviews the roots of insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea—from the legacy of civil wars and failures of governance to piracy and crime on land and at sea. It then explores international, regional, and national responses, and addresses the strengths and weaknesses of existing conflict prevention and crisis management strategies.