Post navigation Niger has been facing a military coup, and as a result, some West African countries have cancelled a meeting about launching a standby force. The ECOWAS, an economic union comprised of 16 countries, is taking a wait-and-see attitude to observe the resolution of the coup. The standby force was meant to be a joint African military unit to tackle security threats in the region. 2. Competition between drug traffickers for control of drug pathways is leading to increased violence and even assassinations of local officials in areas that are typically safe. 3. Ecuador is the latest hotspot of this rise of violent cocaine trade, and the violence has shown no signs of slowing down.