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West Africa, Sahel 'shaken by unprecedented violence' - UN envoy


The United Nations envoy for West Africa and the Sahel region on Monday told the Security Council the region has been “shaken by unprecedented violence” in recent months including last week’s horrific attack in Niger.

Mohammed Ibn Chambas noted that relentless attacks on civilian and military targets have shaken public confidence in the region.

Ibn Chambas told the Security Council: Incidents in the region show how terrorism, organized crime and intercommunal violence can easily intertwine. Yet, it is essential to avoid confusion, and distinguish among the drivers of this violence.

“Endogenous factors of local conflicts have been documented: they include governance deficit, in particular poor management of natural resources; inequalities and marginalization; corruption; and the broader failure of governments to deliver its regalian functions.”

This year, militant violence has been exceptionally brutal, particularly in Burkina Faso, which has experienced attacks on Christian worshippers and similar patterns of violence targeting civilian and military installations in Niger.

Members of the Security Council have called for the strengthening of a bold and inclusive dialogue with communities, plagued by a feeling of marginalization to stamp out intercommunal violence.