(UNSC) – Despite progress in West Africa and the Sahel, particularly regarding democratic and peaceful political transitions, the security situation in the region remained a grave concern, the Security Council heard today in a briefing by the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General in the region. Following a notable decline in Boko Haram attacks in the first half of 2017, there had been an uptick in the number of such incidents since September, with a peak of 143 civilian casualties in November, said Mohamed Ibn Chambas, who is also the Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), as he introduced the Secretary‑General’s report (document S/2017/1104).