Head of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres has decried the increasing Islamist attacks in West Africa region, urging authorities to consider bolstering its response beyond current military efforts.
The situation has raised concerns that the regional G5 force, comprising troops from Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, and Burkina Faso, is unable to stop the unrest.
“We should be open to initiatives that go beyond the G5 Sahel,” Guterres told a news conference in Nairobi. “We are open to support any African initiative involving all the countries of a region in which the threat … is spreading.”
In November last year, Guterres said international donors had disbursed less than half of funds pledged for the G5.
Groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State have strengthened their foothold across the arid Sahel this year, making large swathes of territory ungovernable and stoking local ethnic violence, especially in Mali and Burkina Faso.