A senior UN Security Council official said on Tuesday that despite the security challenges facing West Africa and the Sahel, they remain “a land of immense opportunity”.
In her latest report on developments in the region, the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNOWAS, Giovanie Biha, revealed that insecurity has deteriorated in large parts of the region despite the efforts of national security forces and international partners.
Ms. Biha added that the operations of armed groups and violent extremists, who seek control of resources, have led to the closure of more than 10,000 schools and some 7,000 health centers. As a result, millions of people have fled to safety.
To this end, Ms. Biha called on ambassadors to support a strategy that focuses on building peace, security, and resilience.
Similarly, Ms. Biha reported on the office’s efforts to promote political consensus and ensure a level playing field ahead of this year’s elections in some countries.