On 5 September, SIPRI published this report, saying that the deteriorating security situation across parts of West Africa and the Sahel underscores the importance of better understanding the relationship between crime and conflict; and that the fall of Gaddafi in Libya and the uprising in northern Mali in 2012 triggered a wave of instability that continues to deteriorate to this day. It highlights problems including include corruption, poor governance, impunity among state security forces and socio-economic marginalisation of communities across swathes of the region – but also says that illicit economies are major sources of funding for countless armed actors across West Africa, and many illicit markets contribute to swelling violence, not least the trafficking of arms. The report maps the key geographic hubs of illicit economies across West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo).
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