27 Jan, 2021 06:00 am

West Africa: Many Strategies but Little Progress Securing the Sahel

Analysis - Since it started nine years ago, the Sahel security crisis has claimed tens of thousands of lives, forcibly displaced millions, and triggered record levels of food shortages. Last year alone it claimed nearly 6 500 lives in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

Last year alone it claimed nearly 6 500 lives in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.Mass atrocities against civilians occurred in neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso in 2019, but this is the first time Niger has experienced a massacre of civilians of this magnitude since the crisis began.Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have tried to implement more comprehensive approaches to security But these efforts haven't delivered safety and security for local populations.Both Mali and Burkina Faso have tried to implement this, with programmes such as Mali's Integrated Security Plan for the Central Regions and Burkina Faso's Emergency Plan for the Sahel.

The judiciary should react promptly to serious human rights violations such as the civilian massacres In Burkina Faso, the second iteration of the emergency plan for the Sahel offered an improved model, after a 2018 programme review revealed the need for greater adaptability to local contexts.Unlike Mali and Burkina Faso, which had to develop ad hoc programmes quickly amid spiralling insecurity, Niger relied on existing institutions, such as the High Authority for Peace Consolidation, to drive strategic thinking on insecurity.

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