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China calls for more investment in security in Sahel region

China on Tuesday called for more investment from both regional countries and the international community to tackle rampant terrorist acts in the Sahel region in Africa.

The terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso and Mali in recent days have shown again that the security situation in the Sahel region remains very grave with widespread terrorism and violence and cross-border organized crime, Chinese representative Shen Bo told a Security Council meeting on Tuesday.

Both regional countries and the international community should continue to increase investment and adopt a comprehensive approach to tackle the problem, he said.

The multinational military force, which was launched in July by the countries of the G5 Sahel — Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger — demonstrates the will of Africa to unite and solve problems by themselves. The 5,000-strong force is an important contribution to peace in Africa and the world at large, said Shen.

China welcomes the progress with regard to the development of the joint force and commends the efforts of the Sahel countries to restore peace and security in their region. China expects the force to play an important role in restoring stability in the Sahel, he said.

The international community should respect Africa’s leading role in solving their own problems and support regional countries in their efforts to regain peace in the Sahel, said the Chinese diplomat.

The international community should assess the situation the joint military force is facing, take note of the difficulties with regard to logistics and funding, and find ways to address them, he said. “The international community should provide targeted aid to boost the capacity of the joint military force.”

China hopes the G5 Sahel force will coordinate efforts with the UN mission in Mali so that they can form joint strength, said Shen.

China is willing to work with the international community and play a constructive role in promoting peace, stability and development in the Sahel region and in Africa as a whole, he said.

Terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso and Mali, two of the Sahel countries, alerted the international community of the volatile security situation in the region.

Gunmen attacked camps of the UN mission in Mali on Monday, killing a UN peacekeeper and wounding another. A Malian soldier and a member of the Malian gendarmerie were killed as were six Malian contractors. A number of others were wounded.

A restaurant in downtown Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso, was attacked by gunmen on Sunday night, killing at least 18 people.

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