United Nations, Oct 8 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday asked African states to tackle terrorism and climate change for the sake of peace and security.
Terrorism is a growing threat across Africa, with serious implications for peace and security everywhere, Guterres told a Security Council debate on the role of preventative diplomacy, conflict prevention and resolution in Africa, the Xinhua news agency reported.
In the Sahel, terrorist groups regularly attack local and international security forces. The violence is spreading to coastal states along the Gulf of Guinea, he said.
In Nigeria, Boko Haram and its splinter factions are terrorizing local communities and attacking security forces, despite the efforts of the Multinational Joint Task Force.
“We are seeing terrorist networks across Libya and North Africa, stretching through the Sahel to the Lake Chad region, and present in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mozambique,” said Guterres. “This is a battle we are not winning. And this is not just a regional issue, but a clear and present danger to global peace and security.”
He said climate crisis is another vital preventive measure as climate-related risks including droughts, floods and changing rainfall patterns often intersect with political, social and economic factors. “We must urgently reduce emissions to prevent catastrophic consequences for sustainable development and security across Africa, and step up support for the countries most affected.”
“Today it is indisputable that climate change has aggravated security challenges, particularly in the Sahel,” he added.
Nearly half of Africa’s population of 1.3 billion are under the age of 15. Education, training and job opportunities for this generation must be central to any development strategy. Women’s meaningful participation and leadership are essential to lasting peace, said the UN chief.