UK's response to extremism and political instability in North and West Africa

22 March 2013

The Committee is conducting an inquiry into the UK’s response to extremism and political instability in North and West Africa.

Among matters the Committee will consider during the inquiry are:

  • The UK’s main foreign policy interests in the region, and whether the UK has the diplomatic resources to secure them;
  • The effectiveness of UK co-operation with France and other Western allies to secure UK interests in the region, and lessons to be learned from the French-led intervention in Mali;
  • The factors contributing to the power of religious extremists in the region, how they can most realistically be dealt with, and whether they amount to a significant threat to UK interests or are primarily a regional concern;
  • The extent to which gangsterism and crime contribute to regional instability and how this is best tackled;
  • The UK’s support for regional co-operation by ECOWAS and others;
  • The risk of "blowback" to UK interests if the UK takes a more interventionist foreign policy stance in the region;
  • The extent to which the UK Government’s long-term policy aims of building inclusive democracies, strengthening the rule of law, and tackling extremism in the region are realistic and achievable.
  • If you require clarification on any aspect of the terms of reference, please contact Peter McGrath, Second Clerk, on 0207 219 6645.

Submitting written evidence

Written submissions on the UK's response to extremism and political instability in North and West Africa the themes listed above are invited and should be received by the Committee no later than Tuesday 30 April 2013.

Form of written evidence:

Submissions should be no longer than 3,000 words. The main body of any submission should use numbered paragraphs. Each submission should contain:

  • a short summary, perhaps in bullet point form;
  • a brief introduction about the person or organisation submitting evidence, perhaps explaining their area of expertise or experience;
  • any factual information from which the Committee might be able to draw conclusions, or which could be put to other witnesses; and
  • any recommendations for action by the Government or others which the submitter would like the Committee to consider for inclusion in its report to the House.
    Submissions should be in MS Word format with No use of colour and logos.
    Further information on submitting evidence can be found at:

Submitting evidence:

Submissions should be sent as an e-mail attachment to and the email entitled “North-West Africa Inquiry”.

Paper copies may be sent to Foreign Affairs Committee, Committee Office, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.
Inquiry-related questions:
Please contact Peter McGrath, Second Clerk of the Committee, on 020 7219 6645 or by email to  
Media enquiries:
Members of the press with enquiries should contact Alex Paterson, Select Committee Media Officer, on 020 7219 1589 or 07917 488488, or by email to
Image: iStockphoto

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