Weak governance, insecurity, and humanitarian disaster have worsened in the Sahel over the past year, and prospects for lasting peace remain dim. The region has experienced constitutional and military coups, and other turbulent political and social events, and states are struggling with adequate transition to civilian rule. Deaths from violent attacks increased by 20 percent from 2020 to 2021, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project. Climate change and desertification across the region are also exacerbating conflict and ethnic tension. The United Nations recently estimated that at least 36 million Sahelians are expected to be acutely food insecure by this year’s lean season, which could begin as early as March.
On January 13, 2022, the European Union Delegation to the United States and the CSIS Africa Program for The 3rd Annual Sahel Summit. Speakers took stock of the current instability to identify opportunities to strengthen political, security, and development efforts, and explore practical policy options to address the crisis.
Opening remarks were made by EU Ambassador to the U.S. Stavros Lambrinidis and French Ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne.
- Emanuela Del Re, EU Special Representative for the Sahel
- Michael Gonzales, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, Department of State
- Maman Sidikou, High Representative of the African Union for Mali and the Sahel