Report of the Secretary-General on the activities of UNOWAS (S/2017/1104) - December 2017

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II. Developments and trends in West Africa and the Sahel

2. During the reporting period, political tensions relating to constitutional reform and political dialogue processes in Guinea, Mauritania, the Niger and Togo took centre stage in those countries. Elections were held in Liberia and Senegal, while electoral preparations continued in Guinea and Sierra Leone. Some progress was made in key reform processes in Burkina Faso and the Gambia. Nevertheless, the security situation in West Africa and the Sahel remained fragile. Terrorist activities and cross-border crime, including piracy and trafficking in drugs and weapons, continued to pose threats to the stability of the region. While activities by Boko Haram surged, a significant number of the group’s fighters surrendered to national authorities. There were also internal security challenges in Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria. Although the humanitarian situation in the region remained dire, West African economies continued their positive trajectory. Moreover, several countries made progress in the promotion and protection of human rights.