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UN Chief Warns of Afghanistan-like Situation in Sahel

UN chief Antonio Guterres expressed his fears regarding the psychological and real impact of what happened in Afghanistan in the Sahel.

“There is a real danger. These terrorist groups may feel enthusiastic about what happened and have ambitions beyond what they thought a few months ago,” Guterres told AFP.

The UN chief continued that it is “essential to reinforce security mechanisms in the Sahel,” because it “is the most important weak point, which must be treated.”

“It is not only Mali, Burkina, or Niger. Now we have infiltrations in Ivory Coast, in Ghana,” he added.

Furthermore, he warned of fanatical groups where death “is desirable,” with armies “disintegrating in front of” these types of fighters.

He stressed that the danger is real, and must be thought about seriously with the international community organizing itself in the face of this threat.

He noted that France will lessen its presence in the region and cited news reports that Chad wants to withdraw some troops from border areas around Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali.

“This is the reason why I am fighting for there to be an African counterterrorism force with a mandate under Chapter 7 [which provides for the use of force] of the Security Council and with dedicated funds, which can guarantee a response to the threat level,” he concluded.