UN: Sahel Fast Becoming World's Terror Hotspot
On Tuesday, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Africa, Martha Pobee, said that global efforts to combat armed groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda have failed to halt their expansion in Africa's Sahel region.
- On Tuesday, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Africa, Martha Pobee, said that global efforts to combat armed groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda have failed to halt their expansion in Africa's Sahel region. She also warned that, if progress isn't made, they will expand their scope towards West African coastal countries.1
- Speaking at the Security Council meeting, Pobee said the international community's support for the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5 Sahel) has "fallen short of what is required to render the joint force fully operational" to help stabilize the Sahel region.2
- The G5 Sahel Joint Force comprised Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Niger, and Mali until last year, when Mali's junta decided to pull out and allow Russian mercenaries to deploy on its territory, forcing France to move its troops to Niger.3
- According to Pobee, the Joint Force hasn't conducted any major military operations since January and, though Burkina Faso and Niger have strengthened military ties with Mali, "insecurity in the tri-border area continues to grow."4
- The armed groups continue to carry out large-scale attacks against civilian and military targets in the Sahel region, as the Joint Force reportedly does not have the necessary funding and support to counterattack due to a lack of consensus among donors and partners.5
- According to African security expert Martin Ewi, at least 20 African countries are directly experiencing activity by ISIS, and more than 20 others are "being used for logistics and to mobilize funds and other resources."3
Sources: 1Al Jazeera, 2XINHUA, 3France 24, 4Wirefan, and 5UN Press.
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by VOA. When the West abandons its duties in the Sahel, as France did by moving out of Mali, geopolitical foes like Russia take their place, further threatening the region and its partners. Before the Sahel region can grow politically and economically, the West must help secure these vulnerable populations' physical and territorial safety, otherwise the effects of its continued instability will be felt far beyond the African continent.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by The Press United. After consistently failing to bring peace to the continent, African nations such as Mali and Burkina Faso have finally realized that Western Europe and the US are not their allies. It's interesting, then, that while the West propagates fear over Eastern states like Russia, Sahel countries choose to do business with those same global powers. Africa is no longer a toy for Western governments to play with, as evident through their recent geopolitical decisions.