SecurityCouncil discusses Sahel region

Political instability, cross border organized crime and poverty – the Sahel region faces many challenges. On 10 December, the United Nations Security Council discussed how to support the beleaguered region before adopting a Presidential Statement.

The people in the Sahel region need our full support,” explained UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon. The Sahel region stretches from the Atlantic to the Red Sea and takes in Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger as well as parts of the Sudan, Cameroon and Nigeria. In addition to political instability, currently causing problems particularly in Mali, parts of the region suffer from extreme poverty.

Comprehensive strategy needed

In a Presidential Statement, the Security Council expressed its serious concerns about the “insecurity and the significant ongoing humanitarian crisis” in the Sahel region and went on to say that the crisis was being further complicated by the presence of armed groups and the proliferation of weapons. In the Statement, the Security Council also reaffirmed the need for a comprehensive strategy for the region. The United Nations is currently framing a strategy for the Sahel, which it intends to have finalized by the beginning of 2013.

In September, UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon appointed former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi his Special Envoy for the Sahel. Mr Prodi told the Council he was about to travel to the region for the third time to meet the key players.

Germany supporting the Sahel region

In February 2012, the German Government created an interministerial Sahel Task Force. As envisaged in the Government’s Strategy for Africa, the Task Force has the job of better dovetailing the work of the different ministries in this field. In 2012, the German Government made available some 57 million euros of humanitarian aid for the Sahel region.

Last updated 11.12.2012

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