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Source: United Nations (Video News)

Briefing by Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), on Peace and Security in Africa.

Peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix today (16 Nov) told the Security Council that despite, the COVID-19 pandemic, “counterterrorism efforts in the Sahel have actually intensified.”

Presenting the Report of the Secretary-General on the Joint Force of the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5 Sahel) Lacroix said the Joint Force “remains a vital part of security responses to address extremist armed groups in the region, along with other cross-border challenges, including trafficking in persons, illicit goods, weapons and drugs.”

Lacroix said, “we should be mindful of the disastrous implications of the security situation for the rest of the West African region if the situation in the Sahel is not adequately addressed.”

He stressed that “as calls for the mobilization of additional resources to support the G5 Sahel’s fight against terrorism continue, so do calls for increased mobilization to tackle poverty and the unprecedented humanitarian crisis that the region currently faces.”

In his address to the Council, the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, Canadian Ambassador Bob Rae said, “partnerships with international financing institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF, and the African Development Bank are crucial for the subregion, particularly in the context of recovery from the pandemic.”

He highlighted “the growing collaboration between the World Bank and the UN on data, risk analysis, and joint assessments supported by the Peacebuilding Fund as well as new financing instruments aimed at addressing the root causes of conflicts.”

Speaking of behalf of the G5 Sahel countries, Malian Ambassador Issa Konfourou said these countries “know that a security-based response alone cannot guarantee lasting peace in our region” adding that “the G5 Sahel also involves therefore projects of structural development to benefit our populations, in particular women and young people.”

The Report of the Secretary-General provides an update on progress made in the operationalization of the
Joint Force during the reporting period, including international support for the Force and implementation of the technical agreement signed between the United Nations, the European Union and G5 Sahel States in February 2018. It also highlights the challenges encountered by the Force and the implementation by the G5 Sahel States of a human rights and international humanitarian law compliance framework.