The situation in Africa’s Sahel region continues to be “of serious concern and urgent action is needed”, a high-level United Nations official told the Security Council on Wednesday, attributing a rising number of attacks to terrorist armed groups.
Violent attacks by extremists “almost every day” in the Sahel nations of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso have displaced nearly one million people and caused emergency levels of malnutrition, UN humanitarians have said.
Humanitarian and development responses for Mali and Africa’s wider Sahel region “are falling short”, and support must be scaled up to ensure a hopeful future for its people, the Secretary-General told world leaders at a special high level meeting inside UN Headquarters on Wednesday.
Progress has been made in consolidating democracy in West Africa and the Sahel, according to the United Nation’s Special Representative in the region on Wednesday, who cited successful elections and “political dialogues” as part of the advances made.
The Sahel region of Africa should not be considered a ‘land of misery’ but rather a ‘land of opportunities,’ according to the United Nations Special Adviser for the Sahel. For this special edition of our UN and Africa podcast, Daniel Dickinson reports from the Sahel and talks to the UN's Ibrahim Thiaw, the man with the daunting task of turning ideas, into action.