Terrorism, trafficking in arms, drugs and people, and other transnational forms of organized crime are threatening security in Africa’s vast sub-Saharan Sahel region, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned today.
“The Sahel’s vast size and long, porous borders mean that such challenges can be addressed successfully only if the countries of the region work together,” he told the Security Council at the start of a meeting on the situation in the region. The meeting was also addressed by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, and Romano Prodi, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Sahel.
“The United Nations will continue its efforts to promote security, good governance and resilience,” he said.
He added that, despite progress made towards re-establishing constitutional order in Mali, which over the past two years has witnessed a military coup d’état, fighting between Government forces and Tuareg rebels, and the seizure of the north by the Islamists, he remains concerned with the security situation.He called for continued strengthening of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), a 12,600-strong force set up by the Council in April and authorized “to use all necessary means” to carry out security-related stabilization tasks, protect civilians, UN staff and cultural artefacts, and create the conditions for provision of humanitarian aid.