Regional organisations remain our first counterparts for conflict resolution in the region
In his UN Security Council briefing on 17 December 2019, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNOWAS, highlights that regional organisations remain “our first counterparts for conflict resolution in the region.” Discussions at the ECOWAS and G5 Sahel summits highlighted the “undeterred regional solidarity, and the commitment to bring this violence to an end. The Security Council’s support to the region cannot falter at this juncture,” he declared. Ibn Chambas also recommended that the Council support local initiatives, while privileging grass-root dialogue and traditional dispute‑resolution mechanisms. “Finding ways to ensure peaceful coexistence between herders and farmers is imperative,” Ibn Chambas said. “Recipes against violent extremism, in particular, are being put in place in many West African countries. They have common denominators: political will; courageous local actors; and the involvement of women and young people.” Some of the critical deficiencies in national responses are its weak justice systems. “Efforts to strengthen justice and police institutions under the Biarritz G7 initiative and the Sahel Alliance, are fully welcomed by national governments,” Ibn Chambas added.