- The current report covers the period from 23 June 2022 to 30 December 2022 and provides an overview of developments and trends in the West Africa and Sahel region and the activities of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS). It contains. It also highlights progress in implementing the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel and includes an update on the situation in the Lake Chad Basin pursuant to Security Council Resolution 2349 (2017).
ll. Developments and trends in West Africa and the Sahel
During the reporting period, some West African and Sahelian member states continued their efforts toward democratic integration, while others experienced instability, democratic integration, good governance, and even worsening democratic integration. We have continued to fight the challenges of a growing humanitarian crisis. Senegal held peaceful parliamentary elections in July. Efforts continued in Côte d’Ivoire to implement the outcomes agreed upon in the political dialogue that ended in March 2022 and promote social cohesion and reconciliation. In Nigeria, presidential candidates have signed a peace pledge ahead of the general elections scheduled for 2023, promising a peaceful and problem-based campaign. Meanwhile, Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone continued to grapple with socio-political tensions ahead of parliamentary and general elections. Against this background, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), with the support of the United Nations, continued its efforts to ensure the peaceful restoration of constitutional order in Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali.
The security situation in most of the Sahel continued to deteriorate. The number of victims and casualties of violence, including women and children, is increasing. The threat of the spread of terrorism southward to the coastal states of West Africa continued. While civilians were targeted for the first time in Togo, Benin suffered another attack in the northern region, which the Islamic State of Greater Sahara claimed responsibility for. An alleged individual has been arrested for the first time. To address these challenges, some subregional member states announced in 2017 that the Cooperation is deepening under the established Accra Initiative.
The humanitarian situation in the Central Sahel region in particular remains dire, with high food and energy prices and increasingly climate-related disasters caused by heavy rains, floods and water pollution.
Several countries in the subregion have made some progress in reporting on transitional justice and combating impunity, although concerns remain about shrinking civil and political space. Furthermore, no significant progress was recorded with respect to women’s representation and participation in the decision-making process.