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UN update on the security situation in West Africa

Special Representative of the Secretary-General Mohammed Ibn Chambas, who is also the head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel, delivered his briefing on the security situation in the Sahel and West Africa on 11 January to the UN Security Council. “The security situation remains a grave concern,” he said. Boko Haram-related violence soared in the second semester of 2017 - 295 fatalities were recorded between June and September and another 143 civilian casualties were recorded in November. The use of children as suicide bombers is a particularly worrying development and some 135 cases were recorded in 2017. More than 2.4 million people have been displaced in the Lake Chad area, including nearly 1.7 million in Nigeria. Beyond the terrorist threat, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo also faced several internal security challenges. The Security Council actively supports the establishment of the G5 Sahel joint force. The modalities of the UN’s support for the force are outlined in resolution 2391 (2017) adopted on 8 December. On a positive note, Chambas applauded the Liberian people for its peaceful elections, which have helped strengthen democratic institutions in that country.