NIGER / GUTERRES NIAMEY VISIT

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02-May-2022 00:03:11
The number of terrorist attacks in the Sahel region of Africa “continues to increase” according to Secretary-General António Guterres, who arrived in the capital of Niger, Niamey, the second of three countries he is visiting on a tour of West Africa to mark the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. UNIFEED

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STORY: NIGER / GUTERRES NIAMEY VISIT
TRT: 03:11
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: FRENCH / NATS

DATELINE: 02 MAY 2022, NIAMEY, NIGER

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, Secretary-General António Guterres deplaning
2. Pan right, Guterres walking in tarmac with Minister of Foreign Affairs Hassoumi Massaoudou
3. Various shots, Guterres meeting with Massaoudou and President Mohamed Bazoum
4. Wide shot, exterior Presidential Palace
5. Various shots, Guterres and delegation meeting with President Bazoum and his cabinet
6. Wide shot, Guterres and Bazoum press encounter
7. SOUNDBITE (French) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Peace, stability and prosperity in Niger and the entire Sahel are a top priority for the United Nations.”
8. Med shot, cameraman
9. SOUNDBITE (French) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Nothing can justify violence. As usual, civilian populations are the first victims.”
10. Med shot, reporters
11. SOUNDBITE (French) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“As terrorist attacks continue to increase in the Sahel and spread to Gulf of Guinea states, the international community must realize that this is no longer just a regional or African issue, but a global threat. I will continue to advocate – as I have done since the beginning of my mandate – for the mobilization of additional resources to meet these challenges."
12. Wide shot, reporters
13. SOUNDBITE (French) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“But beyond the security dimension, the region is facing a multidimensional crisis of a rare scale, and only a large, urgent and coordinated international mobilization will make it possible to respond to it. We must fight the root causes – poverty, exclusion, impunity, food insecurity, climate crisis – which exacerbate inter-communal tensions and continue to fuel violent extremism and terrorism in many countries around the world but also here in the Sahel. This requires a comprehensive approach that simultaneously tackles underdevelopment, while strengthening the link between peace, humanitarianism and development."
14. Wide shot, Guterres receiving a gift from former President Mahamadou Issoufou
15. Wide shot, exterior, National Assembly
16. Various shot, Guterres meeting with members of the National Assembly

STORYLINE:

The number of terrorist attacks in the Sahel region of Africa “continues to increase” according to Secretary-General António Guterres, who arrived in the capital of Niger, Niamey, today (2 May), the second of three countries he is visiting on a tour of West Africa to mark the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Speaking after meeting the President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, he said that the “international community must realize” that terrorism is “not just a regional or African issue, but one that threatens the whole world.”

He reiterated his call for more resources to tackle the problem saying that “peace, stability and prosperity in Niger and across the Sahel remains an absolute priority for the United Nations.”

President Mohamed Bazoum recognized Guterres’ commitment to finding a solution to the problem of terrorism and awarded him an Order of Merit.

Meanwhile, the former President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, agreed to a request from the African Union Chairperson and the UN Secretary-General, to lead an African Union (AU)-UN Joint Strategic Assessment on security in the Sahel, focusing on developing recommendations on how to strengthen the overall international response to the security crisis in the Sahel.

The assessment will be undertaken in consultation with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Group of Five (G5) Joint Secretariat.

According to the United Nations, insecurity in Niger is being driven by a number of different actors and as the UN Chief noted “civilians are often the first victims” when violence strikes. Figures suggest that almost eight out of ten victims of attacks are civilians.

A range of extremist armed groups are operating mostly in the regions of Tillabéri, Tahoua and Diffa in the northwest, south and southeast of the country respectively. In the Maradi region in the south, armed groups operating from Nigeria frequently cross the border to carry out raids; bandits with weapons within Niger are also a significant threat.

In 2021, the Global Terrorism Index attributed 588 deaths in Niger to terrorism, the highest terror-related death toll in the last decade. In Tillabéri region, deaths more than doubled between 2020 and 2021.

Guterres continues to Nigeria on Tuesday.
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