Religious wise. Countries in this region have felt

Religious diversity and toleratingreligions is an ideology most western countries thrive for. But long beforeeven the colonization of the West had begun in Africa, merchants from Maghreb(North-West Africa) brought the Islam to West Africa. West Africa is the westernmostregion of Africa and the home of 18 countries and more than 360 Millioninhabitants. West Africa is the home of the mostconcentrated area of Muslim believers in the continent. The Islam has had toface several problems implemented by Western Powers then. Only one of them is imposingCatholicism, enhancing the potential for conflicts in this region. In themid-20th century Western Powers divided West Africa into nationstates, which had nothing but the geographical proximity in common.

Old ethnicgroups still consider themselves as own nations. These prevailing circumstancesfacilitated the spreading of jihadistic Ideologies in the region of WestAfrica. Furthermore, key terroristic organizations like Boko Haram and Al-Qaedain the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) have contributed to the instability in the regionand have made it challenging for West African countries to develop not only indemocracy but also economic wise. Countries in this region have felt the threatthese terroristic groups spread and have formed alliances. For example: Mali,Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Niger, who have created the G-5 Sahelanti-terroristic force combating terrorism in the Sahel region in 2014.  But not only militant treaties whereintroduced.

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In 1975 The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) wasintroduced. It is a 15-member regional group promoting economic integration inall fields of activity of the constituting countries. Their goal is to strivefor economic independence as well as solving cultural and social matters. Theseaspects are all basic requirements countries need to possess in order to fightterrorism and stabilize the region of West Africa.      I.

       Definition of Key TermsWest AfricaWest Africa is the westernmostregion in Africa. It contains 18 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, the islands ofCape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali,Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, the islands of Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra Leone,São Tomé and Príncipe and Togo. The Population of the region is estimated toover 360 million people.Region of MaghrebMaghreb is the Arabic name for theNorth-Western part of Africa containing African countries like Algeria, Libya,Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia. It is home to several religions including theIslam, Christianity, Judaism and the traditional Berber religion.Western PowersBased on Western Powers during thetime of colonialization Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, andSpain were the main countries involved competing for power within Europeanpower politics.

One way for these nations to demonstrate national power wasthrough the acquisition of territories around the world, also including theWest of Africa Ethnic group”Ethnic group, a social group orcategory of the population that, in a larger society, is set apart and boundtogether by common ties of race, language, nationality, or culture.” 1Boko HaramBoko Haram is an ISIS-arrangedjihadist group, which is mainly active in the north-eastern part of Nigeria, butis also in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. Thegroup promotes a Salafist-jihadist imprint of the Islam and wants to establisha caliphate, or rather an Islamic state, in Nigeria. The group is famous for carryingout large-scale attacks inside Nigeria. Only one of them being the attack on theU.N. headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria in 2011. Boko Haram was founded in 2002 inMaiduguri, Nigeria with no pursue of violence.

The group has been approved as aterrorist organization by the United Nations, the United States of America andthe European Union.Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb(AQIM) is a jihadist terrorist group, which is based in North Africa. As an officialal-Qaeda branch, the group’s goal is to dismantle regional governments and implementsharia law in these. AQIM operates, mainly in Algeria, Mali, Mauritania, Libya,Tunisia, and Niger. The group finds its roots in the Armed Islamic Group (GIA).This is an Islamist movement, which was founded in Algeria in the early 1990s.  G-5 Sahel forceThe G-5 Sahel Force is an institutionalframework strengthening the regional cooperation and development and mainly wantsto tackle security matters for Central and West Africa. There goal is to strengthenthe bond between economic development and security in order to fight jihadisticorganizations in the region, like AQIM und Boko Haram.

Member states are BurkinaFaso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.  Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)The Economic Community of WestAfrican States (ECOWAS) is a regional organisation and trade union in West Africa.Its purpose is to elevate the economic integration of all member states. Theywant to create a borderless region, in which the population can access all existingresources and exploit them is a feasible environment. Member countries areBenin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’ Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea,Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo.

TheECOWAS is one of the pillars of the African Economic Community (AEC).


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