Inside Story

What’s behind the upsurge in violence in the Sahel?

The United Nations Security Council has met after a spike in attacks in the Sahel region.

The crisis in parts of the Sahel region appears to be getting worse.

At a meeting on Monday, the United Nations Security Council expressed alarm over the recent increase in violence and called on governments to provide more help. 

There are already thousands of French, UN and African troops in the region.

Yet despite this, a vast area that runs between five countries has seen a sharp rise in attacks by armed groups linked to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS) and al-Qaeda.

Hundreds of people have been killed and many more forced to seek safety in camps.

Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger have suffered some of the worst attacks against their militaries – including a major assault last week that killed 71 soldiers in Niger.

Regional leaders have also held meetings this week, appealing for greater international help.

So how can the international community secure the Sahel?

Presenter: Folly Bah Thibault


Marie-Roger Biloa – President and CEO of the Africa International Media Group

Stig Jarle Hansen – Author of Horn, Sahel and Rift: Fault-Lines of the African Jihad