‘Actual challenges’ have to be addressed past polling day, urges UN West Africa envoy

In his first briefing to the Safety Council since being appointed to the place, Leonardo Santos Simaõ recalled elections in Benin, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

He stated they’d “marked essential steps in direction of democratic consolidation, providing alternatives for residents to decide on their leaders and representatives on the nationwide and subnational stage”.

Shrinking civic and political house, and lack of transparency, have been among the many frequent considerations, resulting in a decline in belief in electoral processes, he added.

“These challenges ought to be addressed means forward of future elections.

Mali requires ‘utmost consideration’

Mr. Simaõ urged ambassadors to pay the “utmost consideration” to the scenario in Mali, the place the mandate of the UN’s peacekeeping mission MINUSMA was terminated by the Safety Council final month.

“The scenario in Mali continues to require our utmost consideration. In anticipation of an in depth plan, UNOWAS will play its function liaising intensively with ECOWAS and different companions because the mission is about to attract down till the top of the 12 months,” Mr. Simaõ stated, including that he’ll journey to the nation shortly.

Established by the Council in 2013 following a coup the earlier 12 months, the mission’s presence, as of February 2023, stood at greater than 15,000 personnel, in accordance with MINUSMA.

Media studies have depicted a grim safety panorama. Over the previous decade, Mali and the Sahel area have seen a surge in clashes and assaults by armed teams and terrorist associates, with 303 peacekeepers killed, in accordance with the mission.

Illustration of girls, youth

Mr. Simaõ voiced considerations over underrepresentation of girls in politics and decision-making, emphasizing that failing to incorporate ladies held again sustainable growth and denied their primary human rights.

With greater than 60 per cent of the inhabitants being youthful than 25, youth are an essential group whose voice will not be but totally heard in peacebuilding efforts
– Leonardo Santos Simaõ

Calling upon all stakeholders to advertise laws and implement current devices for girls’s empowerment and gender equality, he additionally emphasised the function of youth.

“With greater than 60 per cent of the inhabitants being youthful than 25, youth are an essential group whose voice will not be but totally heard in peacebuilding efforts,” Mr. Simaõ stated.

Safety scenario

On the safety facet, Mr. Simaõ knowledgeable the 15-member Safety Council that the central Sahel area had seen an extra deterioration within the safety scenario, marked by a number of assaults towards civilians and defence forces.  

In the meantime, he added, as coastal international locations have enhanced their efforts to strengthen policing and safety operations, bolstered via bilateral cooperation, safety threats from the north have been nonetheless an actual concern.

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