UN / NIGER UNOWAS

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01-Aug-2023 00:02:34
The Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Leonardo Santos Simão, said “the unfolding crisis” in Niger, “if not addressed, will exacerbate the deteriorating security situation in the region.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / NIGER UNOWAS
TRT: 02:34
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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DATELINE: 01 AUGUST 2023, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

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FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior UN headquarters

01 AUGUST 2023, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, press room dais
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Leonardo Santos Simão, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS):
“The unfolding crisis, if not addressed, will exacerbate the deteriorating security situation in the region. It will also negatively impact the development and lives of the populations in a country where 4.3 million people need humanitarian assistance. Niger and the region do not need coups d’état.”
4. Wide shot, press room dais
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Leonardo Santos Simão, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS):
“We are supporting ECOWAS because our role is precisely that, but we are not engaged on any negotiations so far. But we are fully supporting the all-efforts to restore democratic order in that country.”
6. Wide shot, press room dais
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Leonardo Santos Simão, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS):
“The decision of use force if necessary is not a UN decision. It is an ECOWAS decision. But what we value and what's important is that all means to find a peaceful solution for the problem should be used. But we recognize also that ECOWAS has the right to take other measures if they feel fit.”
8. Med shot, journalist
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Leonardo Santos Simão, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS):
“Well, my concern is that if measures are not taken or this ratio is not reversed, it's very likely that the spread of terrorism in the region can increase.”
10. Med shot, journalist
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Leonardo Santos Simão, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS):
“Last ordinary summit in Bissau, the decision was that was twofold. One that well, the region, ECOWAS, has to assist those countries in transition, namely, Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso, to complete the process of transition. through elections. Second, not accept coups d’état anymore.”
12. Wide shot, end of presser

STORYLINE:

The Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Leonardo Santos Simão, today (1 Aug) said “the unfolding crisis” in Niger, “if not addressed, will exacerbate the deteriorating security situation in the region.”

Briefing reporters in New York via video teleconference from Accra, Ghana, Santos Simão said, “it will also negatively impact the development and lives of the populations in a country where 4.3 million people need humanitarian assistance.”

He said, “Niger and the region do not need coups d’état.”

Santos Simão said UNOWAS is supporting the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) but is not directly engaged in negotiations “so far.”

He said, “we are fully supporting the all-efforts to restore democratic order in that country.”

The decision of whether “to use force, if necessary,” he said, “is not a UN decision. It is an ECOWAS decision,” adding that “what's important is that all means to find a peaceful solution for the problem should be used.”

The UN official said, “if measures are not taken or this ratio is not reversed, it's very likely that the spread of terrorism in the region can increase.”

He noted that during last week’s ECOWAS ordinary summit in Guinea Bissau, “the decision was that was twofold,” firstly to “assist those countries in transition, namely, Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso, to complete the process of transition. through elections.” Secondly, he said, “not accept coups d’état anymore.”

Secretary-General António Guterres today expressed deep concern over the reported arrest of several members of the government and urgently called for the strict adherence to Niger’s international human rights obligations and the prompt restoration of constitutional order.

The Secretary-General underscored the utmost importance of safeguarding civilians and ensuring humanitarian assistance reaches those in need in Niger.
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