Terrorism, acute food shortages, the coronavirus pandemic, and climate change have all taken a toll on the security and humanitarian situation in the Sahel making security in the region tenuous.

The security situation in the G5 Sahel has continued to worsen, despite some successes on the ground. Boko Haram terrorists continue to operate with near impunity in and around the Lake Chad Basin region while violent extremists allied to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda operate freely in many of the region’s countries.

Meanwhile, dire food shortages plague the region where 20 million people, including five million children, face acute malnutrition.

The solutions to the many problems facing the Sahel and West Africa are not just military. Yet, the French believe that the military situation has to be addressed first and stabilized before the other factors can be effectively tackled. They already have about 5,100 troops in the region, with the majority being in Mali — a former French colony. They’ve also created the Special Operations Task Force Takuba (which means saber in Taureg).