Niger disaster might worsen insecurity all through West Africa, UN envoy warns

Briefing journalists at UN Headquarters in New York, Léonardo Santos Simão reiterated condemnation of the tried overthrow of Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum on 26 July.

He additionally underscored assist for efforts by the Financial Group of West African States (ECOWAS) aimed toward restoring constitutional order and consolidating democratic positive factors within the nation.

Folks deserve peace

“The unfolding disaster, if not addressed, will exacerbate the deteriorating safety state of affairs within the area. It should additionally negatively affect the event and lives of the inhabitants in a rustic the place 4.3 million folks want humanitarian help,” he stated, talking from Accra, Ghana. 

He added that “Niger and the area don’t want coups d’état. Populations should take pleasure in peace, democratic governance and prosperity.”

Because the UN Secretary-Common’s Particular Consultant, Mr. Simão heads the UN Workplace in West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS).

He was in Nigeria on Sunday to take part within the ECOWAS extraordinary summit on the disaster, the place leaders took “decisive motion commensurate with the gravity of the state of affairs.”

ECOWAS takes motion 

The 15-member bloc of West African States issued a communiqué demanding that Niger’s democratically elected President be returned to energy inside per week.

Failing that, they might “take all measures obligatory to revive constitutional order”, together with use of power. ECOWAS additionally imposed monetary sanctions on Niger and closed air and land borders with the nation.

In response, the army governments in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso stated use of power in Niger could be a “declaration of struggle”, in accordance with worldwide media studies. 

Mr. Simão had no touch upon their assertion however stated he’ll journey to Mali’s capital, Bamako, on Wednesday “so I’ll engage with the authorities and perhaps these issues may be raised.”

Hopes for decision 

He stated ECOWAS “is making an attempt to offer time for a peaceable settlement to happen” and described the state of affairs as “very fluid”. 

Different diplomatic efforts are additionally underway, together with a go to by the President of Chad who will meet with a number of the “key personalities” in Niger, he added.

“ECOWAS, so far as I perceive, will not be to be used of power. It’s for negotiating a settlement of the state of affairs,” he stated. 

Potential regional implication

The UN envoy expressed hope that army motion won’t be obligatory however careworn that this might solely be the choice of ECOWAS and never the UN.

“What we worth and assist is that each one means to discover a peaceable resolution for the issue needs to be used however acknowledge additionally that ECOWAS has the suitable to take different measures in the event that they really feel match,” he stated.

Mr. Simão was requested if he was involved about any potential affect the Niger disaster might have on the broader area.

“My concern is that if measures aren’t taken, or the state of affairs will not be reversed, it is extremely seemingly the unfold of terrorism within the area can improve,” he stated. “However nobody needs to see regional battle taking place.” 

Guterres involved over arrests 

In the meantime, UN Secretary-Common António Guterres has expressed deep concern over studies of the arrest of a number of members of Niger’s Authorities. 

“(He) urgently requires the strict adherence to Niger’s worldwide human rights obligations and the immediate restoration of constitutional order,” stated UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq, talking on Tuesday in New York. 

Mr. Haq additionally stated that the UN and humanitarian companions are dedicated to remain and proceed to offer very important assist to essentially the most susceptible segments of the inhabitants. 

“To make sure the continuation of this important help, it’s crucial that each one events foster a conducive working atmosphere,” he added. 

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