UN Seeks Collaboration of Sahel Countries over Security Threats

Mohamed Ibn Chambas

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The United Nations (UN) wednesday called for regional partnership and robust continental collaboration among key stakeholders to address emerging security threats bedevilling the Sahel region and Africa.

Speaking at the graduation lecture organised by the Nigerian Army War College for participants of Course 3/2019, in Abuja, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn Chambas, who spoke on “Emerging Non-Traditional Threats in the Sahel and Implications for National Security,” said the killing of Libya’s Muhammar Gaddafi and the subsequent breakdown of law and order in the North African country were the major contributors to the instability plaguing the larger part of the Sahara region.

The diplomat said the flow of weapons from looted Libyan military stockpiles into the surrounding countries “galvanised existing political opposition, separatist movements, transnational militant groups and human trafficking”, among other security challenges.

He lauded the college for producing the leadership of several peacekeeping missions in Africa, saying the real impact of the war college was visible in the Nigerian Armed Forces.

While commending the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Tukur Buratai, Ibn Chambas, described the giant strides of the War College as a positive force multiplier in the search for global peace and security.

Buratai, while felicitating with the course participants on their graduation, also underscored the need for effective synergy among nations of the Lake Chad and Sahel region, in order to address the lingering crisis of insecurity and violent militia groups.

In his welcome address, the Commandant of the College, Major General Charles Ofoche, disclosed that the lecture was a major event of the college and a key activity of the graduation ceremony, saying the knowledge gained during the course is geared towards enhancing the capacity of the officers to function effectively to address emerging security threats.

He explained that the topic was carefully selected in view of the myriads of factors that have exacerbated the vulnerabilities of the Sahel, and also created a conducive atmosphere for emerging security threats to thrive in the region.