The global ceasefire launched after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has failed to silence the guns of war in the Sahel, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).By Oumar Dembélé
“In recent months, security conditions and the humanitarian crisis have deteriorated sharply in the Liptako-Gourma region, which straddles Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger,” ICRC said in a statement on Wednesday.
According to ICRC, “the Sahel is the scene of a conflict without borders.
“The front lines are constantly shifting and with them people seeking refuge. In addition to the conflict, the effects of climate change and the coronavirus pandemic continue to weigh more heavily on the daily lives of millions of people”.
According to the ICRC, armed violence, food shortages, the absence or “weak presence of public authorities” and the economic crisis have led to the displacement of “over a million people, while others have chosen to join armed groups.”
ICRC’s regional director for Africa, Patrick Youssef stressed the urgency of responding to the distress of the population and creating space for development.
He warned that the security response “cannot stand on its own” in the Sahel, which is “plagued by a lack of political solutions to ease tensions and create space conducive to human development.”
The ICRC official said, humanitarian action remains “for the moment the only concrete action” to alleviate the consequences of population movements.
“However, we will not be able to meet all short-term and long-term needs alone,” his organisation added.