West Africa sub-region faces multiple political and security challenges: SRSG DjinnitListen /
"The West African sub-region continues to face multiple political and security challenges mainly linked to transnational organized crime, piracy and terrorist activities as well as election-related tensions in some countries", the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa Said Djinnit told the Security Council on Wednesday.
He said that three zones of instability are observed in West Africa, namely in the Sahel region, in the Mano River, and in the Gulf of Guinea.
Mr. Djinnit said that in addressing these challenges, the leaders of the sub-region have continued to display great commitment in working collectively to enhance security and promote peace and stability within the framework of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other regional organizations such as the Mano River Union.
“ After the MRU and the Gulf of Guinea, the Sahel represents the third area of fragility in West Africa as illustrated by the crisis in Mali. This region is presenting a high number of indicators of vulnerability ranging from environmental degradation, desertification, food insecurity and crises to illicit trafficking of arms, drug trafficking and terrorism. This vulnerability of the Sahel underscores the need for a UN integrated strategy for the Sahel which shall complement efforts by the countries of the region and regional organizations to address the root causes of instability in the Sahel-Sahara belt, and its consequences. “
Special Representative Djinit said that despite the important efforts invested by the ECOWAS leadership in mitigating the risks posed by transnational threats to peace and security, as demonstrated by the crisis in Mali and Guinea-Bissau, the spread of these threats continued throughout West Africa.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.