“This year has also shown the continuous impact of climate change and food insecurity on the Sahel population…”
Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The international community has expressed concern over the state of insecurity in the Sahel region as a result of Boko Haram activities and herders-farmers clashes.
The concern raised by the international community came a day after the murder of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) midwife, Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa in Rann, Kala Balge Local Government Area, Borno state.
Speaking during a high level meeting of regional organizations on the Sahel in Abuja, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, and head of UNOWAS, Mr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, said the meeting should be a decisive step to the international community’s efforts to further harmonise its partnerships, build synergies and develop joint interventions.
Chambas noted that the year 2018 witnessed increased mobilization for the region with renewed efforts to tackle the threat, the stability and development.
Chambas however said that the security situation in the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin remained fragile.
He further noted the increasing violence in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria, and expressed the condolences and solidarity of the United Nations to Nigeria for the brutal and callous acts of Boko Haram on the ICRC midwife, Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa.
“On this note, let me also express our sympathy and solidarity with Nigeria which witnessed once again, the brutal and callous acts of Boko Haram which murdered yesterday (Monday), a midwife whose only crime was to be caring for needy mothers and children in an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Rann, from where she had been abducted by the terrorists, Boko Haram,” Chambas said.
While also expressing condolences to the family of the murdered midwife, Chambas expressed the strong commitment of the United Nations to continue to work closely with the Federal Government in the fight against Boko Haram and terrorism.
Chambas said violence and terrorists’ activities, as well as conflicts between nomadic herders and farmers, is taking an alarming toll on the population and future generations.
He added that violence related to pastoralism is particularly of concern as it is increasing in frequency, intensity, complexity and geographic scope.
“This year has also shown the continuous impact of climate change and food insecurity on the Sahel population.
“Socioeconomic inequality, including the lack of access to basic rights, services and economic opportunities, violence and challenges to the role and participation of women continue to hamper progress and development,” Chambas added.
Also speaking, a former President of Burundi and High Representative of the African Union for Mali and Sahel (MISAHEL), Mr Pierre Buyoya, said as far as the African Union is concerned the Sahel is the most troubled region in Africa, saying the situation in the region is of much concern and deserved all necessary attention.
Buyoya outlined three forms of insecurity in the Sahel, the first being the insecurity in the north of Mali, which has been prolonged and spread to Burkina Faso; the second which arose as a result of the political crisis in Libya, which has led to the insecurity in West Africa; and the Lake Chad’s experiencing of constant attacks from Boko Haram.
“Curbing the insecurity will be done with affected countries and the international community,” Buyoya said.