UN and World Bank Chiefs visit to the Sahel region kicks off

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Youth of Kida, Mali welcomes foreigners with a victory sign and chanting “Azawad, Mali no!” UN Photo/Blagoje Grujic

The Secretary-General is on his way to Bamako, Mali, where he will start a joint visit to the Sahel with the World Bank, the African Union, the European Union and the African Development Bank.

That's according to André-Michel Essoungou, UN public information officer, and a member of the Secretary-General's advance team.  Speaking from Bamako, Mali, Mr. Essoungou described the UN Chief's visit to Mali as "exceptional" because of the size of the delegation, as well as the challenges the Sahel region faces.

"It's exceptional and extraordinary to some extent because of the size of the delegation travelling with the Secretary-General.  As you know, the Secretary-General is travelling here with the Head of the World Bank, the Head of the African Union Commission and the Head of the African Development Bank, as well as one Commissioner for Development of the European Union." (21″)

Essoungou said Secretary-General Ban will arrive in the evening, as the bodies of the RFI journalists, killed on 2 November in the line of duty, are flown out of Bamako.

It's the very first joint visit by a United Nations Secretary-General and a President of the World Bank Group to the Sahel region.

The delegation will also visit Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’15″

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