UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.S. says western and northern African nations need to tighten security on their borders to combat the increased movement of extremists, weapons and drugs.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the Sahel region is a “powder keg” of hunger, displacement and insecurity, and the world can’t ignore the situation.

She’s welcoming the formation of a core group of countries to coordinate aid to Mali, which is facing an Islamist rebellion.

She said Wednesday at the United Nations that those countries must help train Mali’s security forces, help them drive out extremists, and work to protect human rights,

Clinton also says the threat from extremists is rising across the largely impoverished region known as the Sahel, which stretches from the Atlantic to the Red Sea.

filed under: