UN warns of 'devastating surge' of attacks in Sahel region

The Sahel region has experienced “a devastating surge in terrorist attacks against civilian and military targets” in recent months according to the region’s United Nations envoy.

Mohamed Ibn Chambas made the comments when he was speaking to the UN Security Council on Wednesday.

He said that the “unprecedented terrorist violence” had shaken public confidence in the region.

He said attacks have increased five-fold in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger since 2016.

More than 4,000 deaths were reported in 2019 compared with an estimated 770 deaths three years before.

The UN outlined the most recent attacks:

  • Five soldiers died in a roadside bomb in Alatona in central Mali.
  • On Saturday 14 people were killed in a roadside bomb in Burkina Faso
  • On 24 December 35 civilians were killed on an attack on a military outpost in Soun in northern Burkina Faso
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