Sahel: A Call to Action - June 2019
Worsening Violence and Insecurity
Escalating armed violence is causing an unprecedented humanitarian emergency in the Sahel . The impact on affected children, women and men is dramatic. Needs are rising fast as conflict and insecurity devastate hundreds of thousands more lives.
Over the past six months, armed groups have intensified attacks in Burkina Faso and parts of Mali and Niger. Regions around the three countries’ borders are new hotspots of violence. In the first five months of 2019, more than 1,200 civilians were directly targeted and killed. Exacerbated by conflict, tensions in communities with deep-rooted grievances are growing.
Operating in sparsely populated, impoverished regions with little Government presence, armed groups are roving across borders and expanding areas of influence. Neighbouring Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Ghana and Togo are at risk. Attacks have already spilled over into Benin.
In the Lake Chad Basin, the conflict continues unabated into its tenth year. More than 27,000 people have been killed. Millions of civilians are grappling with extreme hardship and deprivation.
Many have suffered violence and abuse and are deeply traumatised. Armed groups have recently intensified attacks against civilians, with a marked increase in murders, kidnappings and lootings, leading to renewed population displacements.
Conflict and its devastating humanitarian impact have plagued the Sahel for many years. The current levels, however, are unprecedented. Insecurity has never spread so fast. Women and children are bearing the brunt of the violence. Renewed, increased and concerted efforts are needed to curb the ongoing violence from spreading further in the Sahel, and beyond.