The effectiveness of the ECOWAS counterterrorism strategy in combating terrorism in West Africa. The case of North Eastern Nigeria (2010-2015).
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Terrorism has emerged as a new, serious and fast growing threat to international peace, security and stability in the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS) bloc in particular Nigeria. In North Eastern part, Boko Haram perpetrates criminal acts that undermine efforts by ECOWAS towards achieving democracy, good governance and development. This catastrophe is attributed to the deep rooted political, economic, social and developmental deficits. Poverty, unemployment, politicization of religion and the general socio-economic malaise that afflict the Nigerian nation can best explain the evolution of the extremist religious group. This situation creates a plethora of problems like dire humanitarian disaster, human right abuses, population displacement, livelihood crisis, and public insecurity. Various measures by international, regional and sub-regional organizations‟ have achieved minimal success in the fight against Boko Haram. It is in the face of these challenges posed by Boko Haram that this research seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of the newly adopted strategy of February 2013 in combating terrorism in North Eastern Nigeria. The study sought to establish whether this proactive strategy will successfully eradicate terrorism in North Eastern Nigeria. The study also had the objective of analyzing the inhibiting and facilitating factors towards the implementation of the counter terrorism strategy. A case study approach based on North Eastern Nigeria was adopted and interviews were conducted to gather information from the key informants. The results from the study indicated that ECOWAS Counter Terrorism Strategy is not capable of combating terrorism in North Eastern Nigeria. Thus, effective implementation of the Strategy calls for full commitment from member states, adequate human, financial and material resources. In addition, it calls for the ability of member states to give binding decisions, which ECOWAS is running short of. As such, the strategy remains as loose guidelines that are prone to manipulations by states, acting in their own accord. There is need for member states to follow the dictates of Intergovementalism Theory so that they commit all their efforts and resources towards the common cause. Also there is need for ECOWAS states to strengthen regional and states cooperation because that is where the success of this strategy is hinged on. However, there is need for proper integration of soft and hard power in North Eastern Nigeria as this forms the most critical part of the strategy for it to be able to eradicate terrorism. There is need for an inquiry to establish if ECOWAS can be given powers to make binding decisions.
Additional Citation InformationMamutse, R. (2016). The effectiveness of the ECOWAS counterterrorism strategy in combating terrorism in West Africa. The case of North Eastern Nigeria (2010-2015). [Unpublished masters thesis]. University of Zimbabwe.
University of Zimbabwe
Multinational Joint Task Force
Economic Community of the West African States
United Nations Security Council
Network of Police Reform in Nigeria