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Latest post: Mon 17 May 2021

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G5 Sahel Joint Force: Briefing and Consultations via VTC

Tomorrow (18 May), Security Council members will hold a videoconference (VTC) briefing, followed by VTC consultations, on the Group of Five for the Sahel Joint Force (FC-G5S), which is comprised of forces from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. The expected briefers are Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix; Chadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chérif Mahamat Zene, on behalf of the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5 Sahel); Force Commander of the FC-G5S, General Oumarou Namata Gazama of Niger; and Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) Chair, Ambassador Mohamed Fathi Ahmed Edrees (Egypt). Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support Atul Khare is expected to brief during the closed consultations.

Lacroix will present the Secretary-General’s latest report on the FC-G5S, dated 10 May. The security situation in the Sahel continues to deteriorate. The tri-border area of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger remains a hotspot for terrorist attacks, despite the pressure of counterterrorism operations in the area and amidst fighting between Al-Qaida affiliated Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS). Niger’s western region in particular has seen a surge of attacks against civilians, with three major attacks since January killing over 300 people. A recent upsurge in violence in Burkina Faso, where there is a threat of famine which is linked to the insecurity, killed 45 and displaced 17,500 people over a ten-day period since late April 2021, according to UNHCR. The Secretary-General’s report warns about the threat of further destabilisation in the Sahel and the possible spread of insecurity to West African coastal states.

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