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Sahel Focus - Quarterly E-Magazine of the Office of the Special Envoy for the Sahel

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Editorial: "The Sahel, a threatening and threatened space"

The Sahel is not a region like any other.

Long regarded as one of the poorest in the world, the Sahel is now simultaneously faced with the adverse effects of climate change, terrorism, the rise of cross-border organized crime, and the proliferation of weapons and militias, affecting countries lacking the required administrative, economic, military, police and customs capacity to deal with these multiple perils.

These increasingly complex and recurring challenges make the Sahel a threatening and threatened space.

Within this framework, only the will of the countries of the region to take control of their destiny, with the coordinated and coherent support of the international community, could resolve the situation in the Sahel.

The United Nations, having become aware of the current security issues in the Sahel, are working through the implementation of its integrated strategy for the Sahel, together with their regional and international partners to support the States of the region to improve security, governance, livelihood and sustainable development.

The United Nations and its partners recognize the urgency and imperative of regional stability which dictates a concerted and cohesive action. It is in this context that I have the pleasure to share with you the first issue of Sahel FOCUS which intends to be a source of information and a space for dialogue on the activities of the United Nations, as well as its national, regional and international partners, in the Sahel.

I wish that Sahel FOCUS contributes to better information sharing, awareness of challenges, as well as efforts being undertaken to address the many problems facing the region. I therefore encourage you to contribute to its development and enrich its content.

Hiroute Guebre Sellassie
Special Envoy of the United Nations for the Sahel