Security Council reiterates concern over alarming security situation in Africas Sahel

The 15-member body reiterated, in a presidential statement, the importance of a “coherent, comprehensive and coordinated approach encompassing governance, security, human rights, developmental and environmental aspects to respond to the threats across the Sahel region.” The Council also reaffirmed its commitment to the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of the Sahel region, while reiterating the importance of national and regional ownership of the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel. In that regard, it encouraged further close consultation between Member States of the Sahel, West Africa and the Maghreb as well as with regional, multilateral and other bilateral donors and partners to enhance the efforts to implement the Strategy.The Council also encouraged the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Sahel (OSES) to work closely with the Group of Five (G5) countries as well as other countries of the region.Gravely concerned about the activities in the Sahel region of terrorist organizations, the Council reiterated its concern over the serious threats to peace and security posed by armed conflict, the proliferation of arms and transnational organized crime and other illicit activities such as drug trafficking. The Council noted that the humanitarian situation in the Sahel is “extremely fragile” with at least 20 million people at risk of food insecurity and nearly five million children at risk of acute malnutrition. In that regard, the Council commended the efforts of the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the region and called on the international community to strengthen its support in areas which require immediate attention. The Sahel region stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, and includes Mali, as well as Chad, Mauritania, Niger, and parts of Sudan, Cameroon and Nigeria.