In the 1990’s and early 2000’s, West Africa was plagued by successive waves of conflict. Civil wars in Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone displaced many and separatist rebels in Senegal’s Casamance region fighting with government troops for over 20 years, displaced tens of thousands. However, accountability for crimes committed against civilian populations of the region have been ongoing, through a variety of means both legal, in the form of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the case against Hissane Habre and at the ICC and non legal such as through the Truth and Reconciliation processes of Sierra Leone and Liberia.
More recently, violent conflict as a result of the activities of Boko Haram and the military counter operations has forced large numbers of civilian to be displaced from Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
However, the peaceful transfer of power in Gambia, in part as a result of regional heads of state intervention, is a positive development for the region.