The United States released a statement on Thursday addressing the increase of alleged human rights abuses by state security forces in West Africa and the Sahel. According to the statement, the U.S. was “deeply concerned” about these allegations and said that they must be addressed or else assistance from Washington could be at risk.

Part of these allegations is a report of mass executions in Burkina Faso released earlier this week by Human Rights Watch. The United States is also monitoring similar reports of human rights abuses in Mali where violence has wracked the nation.

“Continued human rights violations and abuses risk undermining the state’s credibility with its citizens, serve as a recruiting tool for terrorists, exacerbate the existing humanitarian crisis, and undermine efforts to bring security and stability to the region,” said Morgan Ortagus, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of State. 

The U.S. State Department welcomed the talks held earlier this week by the leaders of the G5 Sahel nations along with France and Spain in Nouakchott. It also praised Burkina Faso’s President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré and his counterparts of the G5 Sahel nations for their willingness to investigate allegations of abuses by security forces. It also urged the countries to hold “anyone found guilty of human rights violations or abuses” accountable.