The Sahel (International Review of the Red Cross No. 918; June 2022)

This edition takes a close look at the current realities in the Sahel – here, encompassing Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. To varying degrees, Sahelians suffer from humanitarian issues brought about by armed conflicts and violent extremism in the region. In addition, although Sahelians are one of the smallest contributors of CO2 globally, the region is among the worst hit by climate change, further exacerbating already fragile humanitarian conditions in the region. The ongoing hostilities and food insecurity, fuelled by both armed conflicts and climate change, have also led to displacement and large-scale migration of Sahelians both within the borders of the States and throughout the region as a whole. In the beginning of the pandemic, COVID-19 became an additional complicating factor, which restricted humanitarian access in the region while armed conflict and violence increased. This "Sahel" edition of the Review has brought together perspectives of diplomats, humanitarian actors, armed forces, think tanks and financial institutions, as well as legal, agricultural and climate change experts, in a unique collection of articles. The academic articles and interviews in this edition will and serve as an important reference point about the complex issues that Sahelians face. They will also be an important entry point within the Sahel and outside, into diplomatic, political, humanitarian and academic discussions that aim at solving the complex humanitarian challenges in the Sahel. Written by twenty-one authors on a wide range of issues impacting the daily lives of Sahelians, this edition of the Review presents a starting point for action and motivation to ensure respect for international humanitarian law – and international law more broadly – in the Sahel.