Terrorist attacks harm civilians in Sahel, UN envoy

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Portrait of a girl in Timbuktu, Mali. UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Civilians in the Sahel region of Africa continue to suffer from the negative consequences of terrorist attacks, according to the newly appointed top United Nations envoy for the region.

Hiroute Guebre Sellassie on Thursday briefed the Security Council on the situation in the semiarid region which lies along the edge of the Sahara desert.

She said the humanitarian situation in the Sahel remains extremely fragile in 2014 with at least 20 million people at risk of food insecurity and nearly five million children at risk of acute malnutrition.

"In the little time that I have had in Office, I was struck by the deterioration of the political and security situation in the region, notably in Libya, the enduring political and security challenges in Mali, the persistent terrorist attacks throughout the region, notably those carried out by Boko Haram in Nigeria, all of which continue to have negative consequences on civilians and local economies." (25")

The top UN envoy warned that high levels of youth unemployment in the Sahel increase the appeal of what she called "violent ideology".

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration:  1’15″

 

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