UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Wednesday called on the international community to support regional initiatives such as the G5 Sahel joint force.
The UN Security Council on Wednesday held a briefing on the joint force, which G5 Sahel members, namely Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, established in 2017 to combat terrorist and criminal groups.
At the meeting, Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, said that the Sahel is facing "severe challenges" and the force "makes an important contribution to peace and security" there.
He said that the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) should also provide support for the force.
With respect to national sovereignty, the international community should also support peace and reconciliation in the countries of the Sahel, helping Africa's countries "solve African problems in African ways," said the ambassador.
National strategies, regional strategies and the UN Sahel strategy must be harmonized for that purpose, the envoy noted.
"As part of such efforts, sustainable development must also be supported to address the root causes of violence and to achieve sustainable peace," said Zhang.
China has long supported African countries to build capacity in addressing their challenges and remains committed to that effort, he said.
During the meeting, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Africa Bintou Keita presented the secretary-general's report on the activities of the joint force.