Statement by Anna Evstigneeva, Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, at the open VTC of UNSC members on G5 Sahel Joint Force
We thank USG Lacroix and other briefers for the information they shared.
We agree with the alarming assessments of the situation in the Sahel that we heard today. Security threats in this part of Africa remain at a high level. Terrorist activity in the region would not abate, the geography of inter-ethnic and inter-communal conflicts is expanding, drug trafficking and organized crime are on the uprise. Unfortunately, in the reporting period we received numerous reports about the death of military servicemen and civilians from the hands of militants.
The humanitarian situation is deteriorating, the number of challenges to food security keeps growing. Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, grave problems in the area of access to education and medical services have emerged. Such situation creates favorable environment for radicalization of the population. Therefore, states of the region need to effectively counter the expansion of extremist ideology, begin to solve acute socio-economic problems, strengthen state institutions and instill respect for human rights.
We support the efforts of G5 Sahel to establish Joint Force to counter terrorism and organized crime. The Joint Force has become an important element of regional security. We welcome the information about the Joint Force conducting several successful counter-terrorist operations within the reporting period. Planning and coordination of actions between the divisions have improved, and the scale and continuity of operations have extended. We welcome the establishment of a joint coordination mechanism in Niamey between G5 Sahel, MINUSMA, and other military presences in the region.
We are convinced of the importance of further coordinated steps on the part of both Africa and the international community aimed at combating terrorism in the Sahara-Sahel region. We hope the concept of deployment of African Standby Forces in the Sahel that the African Union develops together with the regional organizations will soon yield fruit.
Obviously, full-fledged functioning of G5 Sahel depends on two key factors: ensuring stable and predictable financing, and rendering relevant transportation and logistical support. In this context, we support the assistance provided to the Joint Force by the UN Mission in Mali in accordance with the mandate set by Security Council resolution 2531. This resolution envisages flexible mechanisms to improve the Mission, which we hope will soon be put to practice.
Russia keeps close track of the situation in the region. We already provide a number of countries with relevant military and technical assistance and training of military and police personnel. We agree that the G5 Sahel’s Joint Force has become an effective tool of restoring and maintaining peace in West Africa and deserves comprehensive support of the international community