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The beginning of the 21st century marks a turning point in West Africa's history, moving from an era where conflicts and sources of instability were primarily "endogenous" to the emergence of "exogenous" global threats such as terrorism and large‐scale drug trafficking. These new threats are added to the local causes of "endogenous" conflicts (competition for resources, irredentist claims, circulation of weapons, border issues, instability of fragile states and weak democracy). However, "exogenous" threats are not triggered or caused by local causes. It is important to understand how internal and external threats coexist and hybridize. Although currently crystallised in the Sahel, the extent of these dynamics encompasses all of West and North Africa.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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