Report of the Secretary-General on the activities of UNOWAS (S/2018/649) - June 2018

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II. Developments and trends in West Africa and the Sahel

2. During the reporting period, the peace and security landscape in West Africa and the Sahel continued to be dominated by the security situations in Mali, Nigeria and the Niger and by rising insecurity in Burkina Faso. Throughout the Sahel, violent conflicts between nomadic herders and sedentary agrarian communities increased in frequency, intensity, complexity and geographic scope. Moreover, the growing threat of cross-border armed groups and transnational organized crime continued to be compounded by weak State institutions and the inadequate provision of public services.

3. At the same time, major milestones were achieved as peaceful democratic transitions occurred in Liberia and Sierra Leone and local elections were held in the Gambia. However, post-electoral violence in Guinea, a breakdown in dialogue in the Niger, the slow pace of the dialogue process to resolve the constitutional crisis in Togo and increasing tensions surrounding upcoming elections in a number of countries are reminders of the fragility of democratic gains in the region. Moreover, while macroeconomic growth has generally improved, it has not yet translated into the implementation of meaningful democratic reforms.