More attacks, ‘persisting security challenges’ threaten progress in West Africa, Sahel

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel, briefs the Security Council.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

A rising number of attacks by extremist groups, using more sophisticated tactics, risk undermining progress in West Africa and the Sahel, the region’s UN envoy told the Security Council on Thursday.

“Military solutions, while necessary, are not sufficient,” Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), pushing for holistic responses, “grounded in the respect of human rights, and the socioeconomic needs of the population in the affected areas.”

In breaking down some of the most pressing challenges, he highlighted:

  • In the Chad Basin, there have been increased Boko Haram attacks in recent months, notably against military installations. Also, violent clashes between farmers and herders continue, but on a lesser scale.
  • Burkina Faso: Against the backdrop of a significant rise in security incidents, a state of emergency had been declared in seven of the country’s 13 regions in the north, west and east.
  • Niger: Despite mass mobilization of defense and security forces, they are “continuing to face challenges in the west and south.”
  • Niger, Benin and Togo: “Increased attacks and kidnappings by extremist groups are heightening security risks”.

Against the backdrop of high population growth, worsening youth unemployment and economic austerity measures, including the elimination of subsidies in some countries, Mr. Chambas underscored that “rising insecurity has placed a heavy burden on governments in the region”.

The Special Representative outlined that UNOWAS was working to advance the region’s long-term stabilization goals, cooperating closely with regional partners, within the framework of the last year’s new UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel (UNISS).

He also noted that while “laudable progress” was made in implementing the Council’s 2017 resolution for a regional response to the Lake Chad Basin crisis, “more support is needed to advance the stabilization efforts in the Sahel”.

Elections: ‘A litmus test’

Beyond the “persisting security challenges” Mr. Chambas lauded presidential elections in Mali last year, regional elections in Mauritania, and voting across Togo and Cote d’Ivoire, while underscoring that “despite appreciable progress in democratic consolidation in the region, continuous efforts are needed to address contentious issues around elections”.

Indicating that this was of particular importance over the next six months as the region would conduct “several high-stake elections” in Nigeria, Senegal, Mauritania and Benin, he called the next cycle of regional elections “a litmus test for the consolidation of democratic gains”.

Mr. Chambas pointed out that women continue to be discriminated against and marginalized from political processes, saying that they “comprise less than 15 per cent of parliamentarians in several countries of the region”.

He also expressed concern over human rights challenges, particularly allegations of human rights violations by security forces, as well as the increasing re-emergence of self-defence groups, “whose actions have been fueling intercommunal tensions”.

“Through inclusive approaches predicated on national ownership, we must continue to work hard on addressing the governance deficits, the extreme poverty and lack of development that feed and sustain armed violence and extremism”, concluded the UN Special Representative.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

What people want – ignore at your peril

Reduce costs, save lives: how healthcare data can help emerging economies

UN chief welcomes South Sudan’s Unity government, lauds parties for ‘significant achievement’

In this ‘wildland’ farm in Britain, species thrive and yields are high

MWC 2016 LIVE: 5G to trigger disruption, claim industry leaders

EU elections update: Can the EU voters vote unaffected from fake news and online disinformation?

US-North Korea summit ‘an important milestone’ towards denuclearization, says Guterres

SMEs are driving job growth, but need higher investment in skills, innovation and tech to boost wages and productivity

Eurozone stagnates after exporting its recession to trading partners

From G7 announcement in August to Paris Peace Forum, Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) coalition gains momentum

Commission tries to solidify the EU statistical system

3 campaigns spreading the joy of reading to children at home

In the future of work it’s jobs, not people, that will become redundant

Large parts of the world are growing more fragile. Here are 5 steps to reverse course

Silicon Valley can do more to achieve the #GlobalGoals

Antibiotics are contaminating the world’s rivers

Future of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh ‘hangs in the balance’ – UNHCR chief

Protection of workers from biological agents: how to classify COVID-19

UN health agency to gauge global threat, as China confirms coronavirus transmission between humans

ACP-EU : Agreement on climate change, migration and post-Cotonou

Consumer protection: Commission welcomes political agreement by Council on the Representative Actions Directive

IMF’s Lagarde to Peoples of the world: You have to work more for the banks!

Ukraine: EU report notes continued implementation of the reform agenda though challenges remain

How a trade war would impact global growth

Opening – Parliament expresses support for victims of Fuego volcano in Guatemala

Benjamin Franklin was wrong: Amazon can tax evade

North Sea fisheries: MEPs back EU plan to sustain stocks of demersal species

European Youth Forum welcomes adoption of Sustainable Development Goals and calls on European countries to not ignore them!

Japan’s workforce will be 20% smaller by 2040

Darfur: Inter-communal tensions still high despite improved security, Mission head tells Security Council

The link between migration and technology is not what you think

Is poverty and exclusion the necessary price for EU’s recovery?

Digital distrust: We’re losing faith in technology to solve the world’s problems

UN experts urge Turkey to repatriate Irish woman associated with terror group

Here are 3 lessons Europe can learn from China’s flourishing start-ups

Rise in violent conflict shows prevention ‘more necessary than ever’: UN chief

UN will do ‘utmost to prevent and mitigate any risk of violence’ in DR Congo, pledges Mission chief

Financial transactions tax gets go ahead

‘The green economy is the future,’ UN chief says in Beijing, urging climate solutions that strengthen economies, protect the environment

Europe slammed by Turkey’s shaky Erdoğan; both playing with immigrants’ agony

How Finland is fighting fake news – in the classroom

How face masks, gloves and other coronavirus waste is polluting our ocean

Energy Union: EU invests a further €800 million in priority energy infrastructure

Basel III rules relaxed: Banks got it all but become more prone to crisis

Spanish vote – bad luck for Greece: Does Iphigenia need to be sacrificed for favourable winds to blow in Eurozone?

UN policewoman recognized for ‘speaking up and speaking out’ on behalf of the vulnerable

Meet Cipta: the comic book hero using her powers to tackle bullying in schools

This massive project in Spain is the latest milestone in Europe’s solar power boom

5 curve-flattening technologies being developed by young people

Τhe EU Refugee Crisis: a day in the life of a Refugee in Greece

Can one FTA and 110 lobby meetings make the dirty oil clean in Europe?

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ericsson/Cisco partnership on track, insist execs

EU-UK relations: MEPs approve rules to ensure Eurotunnel safety and cooperation

Booking.com commits to align practices presenting offers and prices with EU law following EU action

Commission welcomes the political agreement on the transitional rules for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

The EU’s outermost regions: strengthened partnership bears fruit

Half the world’s population is still offline. Here’s why that matters

Eurozone to enter the winter…

Welcome to the COVID-19 era of world sport

UN chief urges India and Pakistan to dial down tensions in wake of Kashmir attack

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s