UNSC concerned about rise of jihadism in Sahel

According to the United Nations (UN) body in charge of maintaining international peace and security, the success of the fight…

According to the United Nations (UN) body in charge of maintaining international peace and security, the success of the fight against terrorism and violent extremism in Africa depends, among other things, on strengthening “good governance” and facilitating “socio-economic development.”Jihadist movements continue to gain ground in the Sahel. From Mali to Chad via Burkina, deadly attacks are recurrent. In this part of Africa, jihadism is tormenting populations that are sometimes left to their own devices.


Members of the UN Security Council “strongly condemned the constant attacks against civilians, representatives of local, regional and State institutions, as well as national, international and UN security forces.”


In the same vein, they reiterated their “strong condemnation of attacks and threats of attacks on schools, children and education personnel, including the recent kidnappings in Nigeria.”


Tackling this deep-seated evil means addressing the “underlying conditions” that allow it to spread, they said. It is therefore important to promote good governance which is “essential for long-term peace and stability in the region.”


This is why the Security Council, meeting yesterday, welcomed “the democratic transition in Niger and the reconciliation efforts in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Togo and encourages the continuation of these dialogues.”


Similarly, the UN body appreciated the efforts of countries in the region to strengthen “the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in political processes, including with a view to increasing the number of women in high public office and more broadly the number of women in elected office.”


In the Sahel, the effects of climate change are often manifested in drought, desertification, and flooding as well as land degradation. These phenomena have “food insecurity consequences” that affect stability.


In its statement, the Security Council underlined the impact of the Libyan conflict on neighbouring countries, particularly in the Sahel, with the “destabilising accumulation and diversion of arms and the influx of armed groups and mercenaries.”


Nevertheless, the 15-member body, including five permanent members, welcomed the resources deployed by the countries of West Africa and the Lake Chad Basin, the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) “to prevent and resolve the security problems exacerbated by terrorism and transnational organised crime.”


On the humanitarian situation in the region, the Security Council noted “a deterioration aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic.” It therefore called for “the safe, unimpeded and sustainable delivery of humanitarian and medical assistance to all those in need,” especially women, girls, children, the elderly and people with disabilities.


Finally, the Council also expressed concern about the rise of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, and encouraged continued action at the national and regional levels.


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