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As Armed Groups, Coups d’État Destabilize West Africa, Sahel, Role of United Nations Local Office Key in Consolidating Democracy, Speakers Tell Security Authorities

The meeting began at 10: 03  a. m. and finished at 11: 39  a. m. JAMES KARIUKI ( United Kingdom ) expressed concern on the democratic backsliding and the diminishing of civic space that this region experienced in 2022.   Urging progress towards the repair of constitutional Governments within Mali, Burkina Faso plus Guinea within agreed timeframes, he commended efforts simply by ECOWAS and the African Union to make this happen.   UNOWAS has an important role to play — including through its great offices — in presidential elections in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia, this individual said, underscoring the importance of enhancing women’s participation in these procedures.   On the deteriorating security situation in the region — notably in Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and the Lake Chad Pot — he pointed to the destabilizing role of the Wagner Group in the area.   “They are part of the problem, not the answer, ” he asserted.   The particular humanitarian situation in the Sahel remains dire, compounded by floods and rising prices, he continued, noting that UNOWAS’ mandate renewal may support regional efforts towards peace. Against this backdrop, the lady said her Office facilitates the Independent High-Level -panel on Security and Growth in the Sahel led by former President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou.   Further, UNOWAS is working with national stakeholders to ensure a level playing field ahead of elections scheduled with this year in the subregion.   In Nigeria, UNOWAS has liaised with presidential candidates plus witnessed the signing of the landmark peace accord among political parties.   In Kaduna State, in December  2022, the Office supported the first associated with six State-level stakeholders fora to promote peaceful elections.   Within Benin, peaceful parliamentary elections were held two days ago.   PASCALE CHRISTINE BAERISWYL ( Switzerland ) voiced concern over multiple challenges faced by people of West The african continent and the Sahel, including the total burden of climate modify, armed conflict, food low self-esteem and energy prices.   While this burden is heavy, the vulnerable feel it especially, she said, pointing for an alarming 40  million children that are not in school in the Sahel.   The future of these kids — especially girls — is at stake, she warned.   Addressing the root causes of chaotic extremism in a holistic way is essential to overcoming the particular persisting insecurity in the region, such as the terrorist threat in Central Sahel and the risk associated with spilling over to coastal countries.   In this context, she anxious that counter-terrorism must conform to international law, including individual rights and international humanitarian education law.   Further, she stressed the importance of respect for individual rights in the prevention of violent extremism.   Highlighting progress in the region, including the peaceful polls in Senegal, the improvement towards social cohesion plus reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire and the transitional justice within the Gambia, she voiced repent over limited progress on women’s participation and decision-making processes. The Russian Federation, that country’s delegate said, is providing Mali with assistance in the wake up of the withdrawal of the counter-terrorist operation from that nation.   Rejecting declarations that Moscow is pillaging the assets of Africa, she said the continent’s leaders have the right to make the choice concerning who they wish to cooperate with.   Expressing concern over the growing terrorist threats, organized criminal offense and drug trafficking, she welcomed the efforts associated with ECOWAS in political mediation. Once the floor opened to Authorities members, many speakers portrayed concern about the democratic backsliding in the region and praised the contributions of UNOWAS.   The representative of Ghana, also speaking pertaining to Gabon and Mozambique, outlined UNOWAS’ role in combining democracy and stressed that its mandate, which is up for renewal, remains relevant.   He or she condemned all attempted coups and urged restoration of constitutional order in the countries concerned. Expressing worries on the widespread insecurity in the Sahel, he underscored the need for sufficient, predictable and sustainable funding for regional security endeavours.   He also pointed to the link between insecurity and climate change, which has resulted in increasing inter-community clashes. Also speaking today were Switzerland, Albania, France, Ecuador, Malta, Brazil, United Kingdom and The japanese. GIOVANIE BIHA, Deputy Unique Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Officer-in-Charge of the United Nations Office for West The african continent and the Sahel, presented the particular Secretary-General’s latest report in the situation in West Africa and the Sahel and the actions of the United Nations Office just for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) (document S/2022/1019 ), within the period from 23  June  2022 to 30  December  2022.   She said in spite of efforts by national safety forces and international partners, security has again deteriorated in large parts of the location, causing over 10, 1000 schools across the Sahel to close, leaving millions of kids without access to education, plus forcing nearly 7, 1000 health centres to power down due to the activities of equipped groups and violent extremists.   “These non-State groups are fighting among themselves to get supremacy, pushing States towards the margin and causing lots of misery to millions of people which had to leave their organizations to seek safety, ” the girl said.   Unprecedented levels of protection and humanitarian challenges plus socio-political instability have been more compounded by the impact associated with climate change and meals insecurity, which was exacerbated by conflict in Ukraine.   ALBANA DAUTLLARI ( Albania ) said that, as the region prepares for several important elections, actors should pursue inclusive dialogue and build consensus on outstanding disagreements to ensure peaceful elections.   Stressing the need for women and youth to participate in political and decision-making procedures, she urged Governments — with support from UNOWAS — to promote the same.   The lady went on to express concern on the deteriorating security situation plus terrorist threat expanding through the Sahel towards coastal West African countries.   Further, the presence of the Wagner Group poses significant threats to human being rights and international humanitarian education law, and she urged Governments in the region to consider long-term dangers in this regard.   The dire humanitarian education situation also requires the international community’s attention, especially when instability, violence, forced displacement, climate shocks and meals insecurity are at worrying levels.   United Nations support remains important to addressing the complex crises in the region, and Albania looks forward to supplying UNOWAS with a fit-for-purpose mandate by the end of January.   The girl also expressed hope that the presidential statement can be discussed to demonstrate Council unity about this matter. UNOWAS is working with the Economic Local community of West African Says (ECOWAS) and the Office from the Special Coordinator for Development in the Sahel to lead to conflict resolution both at regional and local amounts, she said.   Agreements were reached on the lengths of the transitions in Burkina Faso and Guinea, she recalled, noting that UNOWAS continues to be committed to the follow-up system agreed between Burkina Faso and ECOWAS.   Amid persisting challenges, combating insecurity and stepping up the provision associated with humanitarian assistance to adequately satisfy the fundamental needs of communities remains crucial, she stated, sounding alarm over limitless attacks targeting millions of blameless civilians, notably in Mali and Burkina Faso.   Despite the many challenges facing the region, it remains a property of immense opportunities.   “The United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel has leveraged these opportunities through its three pillars on building strength, promoting good governance, and strengthening peace and protection, ” she said, incorporating:   “I urge you to continue supporting this strategy. ” GHASAQ YOUSIF ABDALLA SHAHEEN ( United Arab Emirates ), stressing the necessity to find inclusive solutions to avoid the region from drifting deeper into fragmentation and lack of stability, said the international neighborhood must build upon the current diplomatic efforts among the countries of the region.   Progress should be made in the implementation from the “United Nations integrated technique for the Sahel” and the “United Nations support plan for the particular Sahel”, she said, expressing concern about the expansion associated with terrorist activities along the Gulf of mexico of Guinea and the coast of West Africa.   Furthermore noting that the issue of climate change must be at the front and centre of the Council’s approach to the region, she prompted UNOWAS to continue to enhance youth participation in providing innovative solutions to adapt to climate alter.   Pointing out that 15  per  cent of the region’s population suffers from food low self-esteem, resulting from the impacts associated with climate change and droughts, she reaffirmed support for your mandate of UNOWAS. JOÃO GENÉSIO DE ALMEIDA FILHO ( Brazilian ) said that the location of West Africa as well as the Sahel presents challenges as varied as the countries that will compose it.   A common line, however , runs through issues in the region, as difficult humanitarian situations provide fertile floor for political instability — often expressed in chaotic means.   Violence and low self-esteem, in turn, increase economic difficulty and aggravate the humanitarian situation.   Stressing that the appropriate functioning of democratic organizations is essential to breaking or even preventing this cycle, he or she highlighted peaceful July 2022 elections in Senegal plus preparations for upcoming elections in Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau.   “It is in the Sahel that the link between political instability and security and humanitarian crisis is the majority of clear, ” he went on to say, urging the transitional Government in Burkina Faso to abide by the changeover timeline.   He also indicated concern over the expansion of terrorist activity from the central Sahel to coastal nations, but welcomed increased local efforts to fight this particular scourge and improve maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.   He added that tackling the humanitarian circumstance in the region requires the combined efforts of regional countries and the international community, welcoming UNOWAS’ efforts in this framework. China’s delegate pointed to the inseparable connection among security and development, calling on developed countries to increase their particular financial contributions.   Some possess adopted irresponsible trade policies that have negatively affected the particular regional economies, he said, also underscoring the need to develop a collective security shield and calling on the international community to ensure financial, intelligence plus logistical support for frontline countries. Giovanie Biha, Deputy Special Representative of the Un Secretary-General and Officer-in-Charge from the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), presenting the Secretary-General’s most recent report (document S/2022/1019 ), drew attention to millions of children in the region who have no access to training because ten thousand schools were shut down due to lack of stability.   “Non-State groups are fighting among themselves for supremacy, pushing States to the perimeter and causing untold agony to millions of people who had to leave their communities to seek safety, ” she mentioned. The Council was also briefed by Omar Alieu Touray, President of the ECOWAS Commission, who highlighted the particular recent spate of military coups d’etat in the region, including in Mali, Guinea plus Burkina Faso.   The Specialist of ECOWAS Heads associated with State and Governments will be committed to ensuring that all 3 member States can recover full constitutional order by 2024, he said. HERNÁN PÉREZ REDUCE ( Ecuador ), stressing that UNOWAS’s work to address the root factors behind violence is critical to building sustainable peace, said that improving living conditions is a important task.   Expressing support for any measures for consolidating democracy, he welcomed the elections held in Senegal last July and Benin final Sunday.   Pointing to progress in improving civil coexistence in a variety of countries, he noted the particular destabilizing efforts of out of constitute Government changes, and stated that Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea must return to democracy.   Noting preparations for polls in various countries, he wished that the difficulties that led to the postponement of elections in Guinea-Bissau will be overcome.   Worried by the deteriorating security situation in Mali and Burkina Faso and the risk of terrorist violence distributing to the Atlantic coast nations, he said that countries in the region must step up cooperation in order to coordinate their fight against terrorism while respecting human rights and international law. FRANCESCA HELEN GATT ( Malta ) welcomed relaxing democratic efforts in the region, like legislative elections in Senegal and Benin and progress towards national reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire.   However , the girl expressed concern over effective coups d’état and known as on authorities to respect democratic processes.   On the security front, she noted that continued fighting between armed groups and the spread associated with terrorist activity is taking a chance on long-term stability in the region.   Nearby, regional and international initiatives are needed to reverse this increasing trend of violence and address the underlying situations leading to the spread of terrorist activity.   She continued to underscore that the girl country is committed to options that bridge the climate-security nexus, as well as actions that will ensure the full, equal and meaningful participation of women within political processes in the region.   It is also important to protect children’s directly to education pursuant to quality 2601 (2021), as the hyperlinks between education, peace and security are clear.   The girl added that supporting specialists in improving local governance, addressing social grievances, ensuring education and promoting gender equality within the scope of peacebuilding efforts “must remain an integral part of our approach”. DAI BING ( China ), stressing the importance of tackling root causes and providing assistance for regional peace plus sustainable development, highlighted the significance of building a collective security protect.   Expressing concern about the enlargement of terrorist forces in the region and the problem of medicines and arms trafficking, he said such challenges can hardly be tackled simply by one country alone.   The far east supports regional countries in strengthening security and sustaining stability.   Calling on the worldwide community to stay engaged and be sure financial and intelligence and logistical support for front-line countries, he noted that a number of them are moving toward elections.   Protests and demonstrations have added to political protection risks in some countries, this individual said lauding ECOWAS’s constructive role in advancing democratic transitions.   Noting that advancement assistance to the region has reduced, he added that security and development are inseparable.   Developed countries must enhance their financial contributions, he stated, noting that some possess adopted irresponsible trade insurance policies that have negatively affected the particular regional economies. The United Arab Emirates’ delegate also known as on the Council to place the issue of climate change at the front and centre of its approach to the region.   Fifteen per cent of the region’s population suffers from food insecurity resulting from the impacts of climate change and droughts, she said, encouraging UNOWAS to continue to enhance youth involvement in providing innovative solutions to adapt to climate change.   It is vital to find inclusive solutions to avoid the region from drifting much deeper into fragmentation and lack of stability, she said. Turning to partnerships, he or she added that partners should stay engaged in the region in general and Sahel in particular.   Stressing the need for humanitarian support and efforts to strengthen capacities, he highlighted ECOWAS’s outstanding relationship with UNOWAS.   Together, they have undertaken joint initiatives, including assessment missions and are also working with critical stakeholders within Nigeria to ensure the transparency associated with general elections in February.   The United Nations should enhance support to combat terrorism and violent extremism in the region, he underscored, calling on the Organization to counter misinformation, market intercommunal dialogue and indulge actively in deradicalization and reintegration. Statements ANNA M. EVSTIGNEEVA ( Russian Federation ), expressing problem over an increasing number of terrorist risks, organized crime and drug trafficking faced by the area, said during the second half of 2022, fighters killed a lot of civilians.   The withdrawal of the counter-terrorist operation from Mali was not agreed upon, she said, noting its negative effect on the security situation.   As a result, the Malian army had to make full responsibility for counter-terrorism.   Recalling that the Russian Federation is providing the country with suitable assistance, she rejected any baseless declarations that Moscow is pillaging the assets of Africa and assisting the growth of a terrorist threat.   Due to their desire to loot resources in Libya, Traditional western countries destabilized the area, she recalled, describing accusations contrary to the Russian Federation as “astonishing”.   African leaders have the directly to make the choice as to exactly who they wish to cooperate with, the girl asserted.   She welcomed the particular efforts of ECOWAS in regards to political mediation in the region. ISIS MARIE DORIANE JARAUD-DARNAULT ( France ), lamenting that three countries in the region — Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali — have not yet restored their constitutional order, highlighted the important role of the United Nations in carrying out transparent elections in the relevant countries.   France is within favour of the Council’s suggestion to renew the mandate of UNOWAS for three yrs.   On security, she pointed out the dramatic impact from the model proposed by the Wagner Group that has proven completely ineffective in combating terrorism.   This mercenary group is in charge of numerous violations of human rights, she said, including that security is a major challenge to the region. Turning to the recent spate of coups in the region, this individual said that since August 2020, West Africa has experienced three successful military coups, including in Guinea, Burkina Faso and Mali, along with repeat coups in the second option two countries.   Also observing at least three documented foiled coup attempts in Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau and the Gambia, he added that the Authority associated with ECOWAS Heads of Condition and Governments is devoted to ensuring that all three associate States can restore full constitutional order by 2024.   The Authority also decided to establish a regional force which will support ECOWAS member Claims to address challenges to constitutional order.   Transition processes are usually under way in the three nations, he said, adding that beyond these, ECOWAS also supports its member Claims in the conduct of polls by engaging with key institutions in their countries. RICHARD M. MILLS, JR. ( United States ), expressing support for the renewal of the UNOWAS mandate , voiced concern about the security, humanitarian and politics crises in the Sahel.   Also noting the dramatic embrace violent extremism that is now spreading into coastal The african continent, he said that this is due to the absence of State authorities, lack of available justice and economic exemption.   “Instability in the Sahel is a security problem with a democratic governance solution, ” he said, expressing concern concerning the criminal Wagner Group’s interference in African countries’ internal affairs.   Applauding UNOWAS’s attempts to support democratic processes plus advise transitional Governments, this individual condemned the killing associated with 28 people in northern Burkina Faso and expressed concern about the departure from the United Nations Resident Coordinator for the reason that country.   In Mali, the Government must eliminate all restrictions against the United Nations Multidimensional Incorporated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) so that that it can effectively carry out its mandate, he said, calling for the reinvigoration of collective actions to support African partners. ISHIKANE KIMIHIRO ( Japan ), Council President for The month of january, spoke in his national capability to welcome UNOWAS’ crucial role in the region, as the Office’s efforts to build and maintain peace and stability in coordination with regional businesses are crucial amidst deteriorating security and political situations.   Observing that the recent attempted coup d’état in the Gambia is a reminder that political balance in the region must be reinforced, this individual called for the timely preparation of free, fair elections in several West African countries to ensure their return to constitutional rule.   He went on to stress that the protection, empowerment, inclusion of and solidarity along with vulnerable populations — including women, youth and minorities — must remain in the centre of efforts to bring peace and stability towards the region.   In this context, Japan welcomes efforts by the United Nations and regional organizations — particularly ECOWAS and the African Union — to incorporate human security concerns directly into activities such as peacebuilding, security-sector reform and climate activity.   Reiterating support for UNOWAS’ work and the extension of its mandate, he said that this can enable the Office to continue joining and aligning the work of various actors to promote peace plus security in the complex area. OMAR ALIEU TOURAY, President of the Commission from the ECOWAS, said that since presuming office in July  2022, the Commission has recognized several important strategic goals, related to peace and protection, good governance and inclusive and sustainable development.   The socio-political and security scenario in West African has been characterized by worsening violence, especially in the Sahelo-Saharan region, he said.   Noting that given that 2009 and particularly after 2012, the Lake Chad Basin and Central Sahel have emerged as the epicentres and incubators of terrorism and violent extremism, he said that while it was initially homegrown, as in the case of Boko Haram in Nigeria, it is often steadily incorporated into the 2 global terrorist franchises, specifically Al-Qaida and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh).   The incident count of these terrorist attacks rose from approximately 1, 271 in 2019 to 3, 519 in 2022, he noted. HAROLD ADLAI AGYEMAN ( Ghana ), also speaking for Gabon and Mozambique, welcomed UNOWAS’ continued contributions to the peacefulness and stability of Western Africa and the Sahel region, highlighting progress in the consolidation of democracy, the continuing efficacy of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission and the reduction of maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.   However , this individual expressed concern over insecurity in some parts of the region, stagnating democratic practices in some nations and the challenging humanitarian circumstance in several societies.   UNOWAS’ requirement, which is up for renewal, remains relevant, he stressed.   Spotlighting several political situations in the region, he condemned all tried coups and expressed continuing concern over countries in transition.   On that point, he urged restoration of constitutional order in the countries concerned, adherence to agreed electoral timetables for a definite go back to constitutional rule and the requirement for sustained engagement for inclusivity and tolerance of politics pluralism. Briefings Armed groups and chaotic extremists are increasing their influence in West The african continent and the Sahel while repetitive coups d’état are destabilizing Governments, political experts through the region informed the Authorities today.   This individual went on to express concern more than widespread insecurity in the Sahel — along with its possible spread to littoral countries — reiterating that the question of adequate, predictable plus sustainable funding for local security initiatives is a pressing matter on which the Authorities must have a unified place.   He also urged ongoing engagement on the spill-over effects of the lingering crisis in Libya and on the risk that the return of international terrorist fighters and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons pose in order to regional stability.   Continuing attention must also be paid in order to maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.   Turning to the particular humanitarian situation, he mentioned the link between insecurity and climate change, which has led to increasing inter-community clashes.   Urging support for humanitarian help and livelihood-empowerment pipelines that will leverage home-grown and regional initiatives, he also stressed the need to prioritize investment in addressing the root causes of instability in the region — including governance and development deficits. “Instability in the Sahel is a security problem with democratic governance solutions, ” the representative of the United States said, furthermore expressing concern about the felony Wagner Group’s interference in African countries’ internal matters.   He also noted that violent extremism is now growing into coastal Africa.   Applauding UNOWAS’s efforts to support democratic processes and advise transition Governments, he expressed assistance for the renewal of UNOWAS’ mandate . Noting the Lake Chad Basin plus Central Sahel have emerged as the epicentres and incubators of terrorism and violent extremism, he called upon partners to stay engaged in the region as a whole, and the Sahel in particular.   The United Nations should improve efforts to counter false information, promote intercommunal dialogue and engage actively in deradicalization and reintegration, he mentioned. Despite the many challenges facing the region, the lady added, it remains a land of immense possibilities.   Noting various upcoming polls, she said UNOWAS can be working with national stakeholders to ensure a level playing field designed for democratic processes.   In Nigeria, it witnessed the signing of a landmark peace contract among political parties, during Benin peaceful parliamentary elections were held just two days ago.   In Burkina Faso and Guinea, agreements have already been reached on the lengths from the transitions.   Further, she added, UNOWAS has been working with the Office of the Special Coordinator intended for Development in the Sahel as well as the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS).

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