UNITED NATIONS, July 17 (UPI) -- The U.N. Security Council issued a presidential statement expressing concern about the "alarming situation" in the Sahel region of North Africa.
Acting U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Rosemary DiCarlo said members were alarmed by ongoing threats to the region presented by groups like al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.
"The Security Council reaffirms its concern about the alarming situation in the Sahel region and its commitment to address the complex security and political challenges in this region," she said.
AQIM has been attributed to violence across the region and was involved in the takeover of parts of Mali following a coup in 2012.
The Malian government pledged to hold elections later this month, though U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said more help was needed to support the stabilization mission there.
DiCarlo said all countries in the region, as well as African political blocs, are called on to ensure effective strategies are in place to prevent the region for falling under the influence of organized criminal elements and terrorist groups.
"The Security Council reaffirms its strong commitment to the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of countries of the Sahel region," her Tuesday statement said.