Sahara-Sahel

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    Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali have a plan to create a new joint task force to fight insecurity in the Liptako-Gourma area. The decision was taken on 24 January in Niamey during the second Extra-ordinary Conference of Heads of State of the Integrated Development Authority of the Liptako-Gourma region. The region is at risk of becoming a sanctuary for terrorist groups and criminals of all kinds. Read on
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    The murderous attack on the Joint Operational Mechanism base in Gao on 18 January threatens to undermine efforts to achieve peace in Mali. The attack, which killed nearly 80 people and injured more than 100, targeted a key feature of the Algiers peace agreement: joint patrols. These patrols, which bring together soldiers from the Malian military, members of the Co-ordination of Azawad Movements as well as from several militia groups, are aimed at securing areas that are currently beyond the control of authorities, particularly in the north. Read on
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    Millions of Malians cast their ballots on 20 November 2016 to elect some 12 000 councillors across in the long-delayed municipal elections, which have been pushed back four times over the last two years. Only 640 of Mali’s 703 communes were able to hold elections, and they were marked by low voter turnout, protests and some incidents of violence. Read on
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    According to a source from the French Ministry of the Interior, France plans to increase its support to Senegal and the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Chad) to help them deal with security challenges. About EUR 42 million of financial assistance is planned for the 2017-22 period, half of which will be used to acquire new equipment. Read on
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    The 29 September 2016 report of the UN Secretary General on the situation in Mali presents a bleak appraisal of the past three months. It barely masks the widespread frustration over the continued lack of concrete progress in the peace agreement’s implementation. Problems include: violations of the ceasefire in the Kidal region; inter-communal clashes in the Mopti region; attacks against United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), etc. Read on
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    On the occasion of the 31st CILSS Day, the Malian President and current CILSS chairman, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (IBK), raised awareness about the importance of water for the Sahel and West Africa’s social and economic development. In his video message, he called for national and regional policies to support sustainable management of agricultural water resources. Water resource management will also help address the many challenges that the region faces such as food security, resilience and climate change. Read on
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    On 11 July, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), delivered his first Security Council briefing on West Africa and the Sahel since the merging of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA) and the Office of the Special Envoy for the Sahel (OSES), establishing UNOWAS. Read on
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    The United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), the International Peace Institute (IPI) and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) of the Swiss Confederation, organised a high-level meeting on the theme "Investing in peace and the prevention of violence in West Africa and the Sahel-Sahara" from 27 to 28 June in Dakar. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the causes of violence in West African societies and to identify ways to address them. Read on
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    West African ministers came together to outline a course of action to accelerate progress on the Great Green Wall. The First Conference of the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative was held from 2-7 May in Dakar, bringing together ministers from countries north and south of the Sahara as well as their development partners. Organised by the African Union, the high-level conference follows on the COP21 climate change conference, during which the international community pledged an additional USD 4 billion in support for the Great Green Wall over the next 5 years. Read on
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    On 11 and 12 March in Bamako, member states of the G5 Sahel (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger) jointly organised with UNDP and Japan, and in partnership with the government of Mali, an international conference on border management and border communities in the Sahel. Read on

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