UN chief calls for creative measures to tackle Sahel woes

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 22 (Xinhua) — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called for constructive measures to tackle the problems of the Sahel.

The security crisis in the Sahel has become a global threat. “If nothing is done, the effects of terrorism, violent extremism and organized crime will be felt far beyond the region and the African continent,” Guterres said at a high-level meeting during the High-Level Week in the Sahel. United Nations General Assembly.

“There is an urgent need for a coordinated international success. We must rethink our collective approach and show creativity beyond existing efforts,” he said.

In December 2021, the African Union and the United Nations undertook to work together with the Economic Community of West African States and the G5 Sahel – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger – to improve global action on security, the Sahel. Governance and development across.

As part of this effort, an independent High Level Panel on Security and Development will be launched in the Sahel. He said the panel, headed by former Nigerian President Mahamadou Issoufou, will conduct an independent assessment and make specific recommendations to mobilize the resources needed to address the multi-faceted crisis and for a sustainable response to it.

The United Nations stands ready to work urgently and in solidarity with the parties for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Sahel, the UN chief said, adding that insecurity and political instability in the region worsen an already catastrophic humanitarian situation. has been

In some areas, states have completely lost access to their populations. He said non-state armed groups are tightening their lethal grip on the region and even trying to increase their presence in the Gulf of Guinea countries.

Indiscriminate violence continues to kill and injure thousands of innocent civilians, while forcing millions of others to flee their homes. Women and children, in particular, are bearing the brunt of insecurity, violence and growing inequality. The reports of serious human rights violations committed by non-state armed groups and sometimes by security and defense forces are a matter of great concern, he said.

He said climate disruption continues to cause soil erosion and drying up of water sources, leading to acute food insecurity and increasing tensions between farmers and herders.

Against a global backdrop of turmoil in energy, food and financial markets, the sector is at risk of a systemic debt crisis, which is likely to have repercussions across the continent, he said.

With debt-to-GDP ratios exceeding 75 percent in some cases, more and more countries in the region are being forced to channel their money into debt payments at the expense of essential services for their populations. Furthermore, given their limited financial space, governments in the Sahel are unable to pursue inclusive reform or invest in resilience to external shocks, he said.

Guterres called for renewed collective efforts to promote democratic governance and restore constitutional order across the region, noting that the rule of law and full respect for human rights are essential to ensuring security and sustainable development. I

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