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.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

Germany’s strong anti-bribery enforcement against individuals needs to be matched by comparably strong enforcement against companies

Pesticides: MEPs propose blueprint to improve EU approval procedure

‘Continue working together’ UN chief urges DR Congo, as country heads to polls

MWC 2016 LIVE: Verizon boasts momentum for IoT platform

How will EU look after French, Dutch and German Elections and what will be the implications for Youth Entrepreneurship?

Elections in Britain may reserve a surprise for May’s Tories

At last Germany to negotiate the costs for a really cohesive Eurozone

Why the Greeks forgave Tsipras’ pirouettes around austerity and voted again for SYRIZA

Cryptocurrency mining could become the new face of energy storage. Here’s how

NEC @ MWC14: “Smart cities” hold the key to enhancing citizens’ lives and cutting costs

The developing countries keep the world going

EU: Divided they stand on immigration and Trump hurricanes

“We always honor our words, and in that respect we expect our partners to honor their words as well”, China’s State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi highlights live from Brussels

Armed insurgency in north-east Nigeria ‘has created a humanitarian tragedy’

EU Parliament: Deposit guarantee and trading platform transparency sought

This AI outperformed 20 corporate lawyers at legal work

G20 starts to tackle inequality

Batteries included: how better storage can transform renewable energy

Accountability for atrocities in Myanmar ‘cannot be expected’ within its borders – UN investigator

Conflicting statistics and bad banks haunt the Eurozone

Harnessing the power of nature in the fight against climate change

Economic recovery won’t tackle youth unemployment problem

MEPs back plans to boost joint assessment of medicines

Mali: Presidential elections critical to consolidate democracy, says UN peacekeeping chief

Brexit: Is there anybody supporting a non-violent separation?

Trump to subject the Fed, challenge the ECB and make Wall St. bankers even richer

Trump and Brexit: After the social whys the political whereto

Mali not fulfilling its ‘sovereign role’ in protecting its people: UN human rights expert

Increasingly under attack, women human rights defenders need better back up

New phenomena in the EU labour market

Assembly of European Regions @ European Business Summit 2014: The European regions on the path to recovery

Some Prevailing Arguments and Perceptions over the South China Sea Issue Are Simply Wrong

Digital business is Europe’s best hope to get back to growth

The Tears of lovely Memories

A new arrangement between Eurozone’s haves and have-nots

Eurozone’s north-south growth gap to become structural

EU Emissions Trading System does not hurt firms’ profitability

The increasing drug prices in Europe

Security Council downsizes AU-UN mission in Darfur, eying eventual exit

Biggest London City Banks ready to move core European operations to Frankfurt or Dublin?

How the EU crisis hit countries saved the German and French mega-banks from bankruptcy and still pay the costs

‘Global sisterhood’ tells perpetrators ‘time is up’ for pandemic of violence

May a parody constitute a copyright infringement? European Court of Justice to give the answer

Everything you need to know about water

Let the Italians have it their way, it may be good for all Eurozone

MEPs commend Ukraine‘s reform efforts and denounce Russian aggression

Korea must enhance detection and reinforce sanctions to boost foreign bribery enforcement

UN rights chief calls for release of hundreds abducted and abused in South Sudan

Ercom, cutting-edge Telco solutions from Europe

What do the economic woes of Turkey, Argentina and Indonesia have in common?

EU to negotiate an FTA with Japan

Governments and non-state actors need to take urgent action to meet Paris Agreement goals

An ECB banker wants to change the European social model

Commission tries to solidify the EU statistical system

Could robot leaders do better than our current politicians?

Every bite of burger boosts harmful greenhouse gases: UN Environment Agency

Russia and the West to partition Ukraine?

A Sting Exclusive: “Junior Enterprises themselves carry out projects focusing on the environment”, JADE President Daniela Runchi highlights from Brussels

A machine din

EU prepares a banking union amidst financial ruins

More Stings?

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