Refugee crisis in Sahel belt of Africa reaching critical level, UN says

The UN called on Friday for tougher international action in the turbulent Sahel region of Africa, where armed extremists have waged a decade-long insurgency that has forced 2.5 million people to flee their homes.

Boris Cheshirkov, a spokesman for the UN refugee agency, described a “surge” of some 800 violent attacks by armed groups across Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger last year, displacing an additional 500,000 people.

“UNHCR calls on the international community to take bold...