Could West Africa follow Mexico's path into drugs and gang-fuelled violence? The question sounds alarmist, but has concerned international law-enforcement agencies in recent years, as countries such as Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Ghana, Benin and Nigeria have emerged as major transhipment points for the global trade in cocaine and heroin.

Could West Africa follow Mexico's path into drugs and gang-fuelled violence? The question sounds alarmist, but has concerned international law-enforcement agencies in recent years, as countries such as Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Ghana, Benin and Nigeria have emerged as major transhipment points for the global trade in cocaine and heroin. With the business increasingly a destabilising force in West Africa, G8 ministers meeting in Deauville next week will discuss a new initiative to tackle it.

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Pakistan: a more positive trajectory

The past 18 months have been an atypically salutary period for Pakistan. Democracy has deepened, civilian–military relations have been stable, the economy has grown and foreign relations have been conducted with relative maturity and civility.

Turkey: the attempted coup and its troubling aftermath

The military coup attempted in Turkey on 15 July 2016 fizzled out quickly. But President Tayyip Erdogan is using it as a pretext to purge the government, judiciary and military.