UN / WEST AFRICA SAHEL

11-Jan-2021 00:03:03
The head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) Mohamed Ibn Chambas said, “insecurity continues to prevail and to harm innocent lives” in West Africa and the Sahel region, adding that “after the end of the rainy season, militants have again staged audacious and deadly attacks, notably in Niger, where more than 100 people died in just one assault nine days ago.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / WEST AFRICA SAHEL
TRT:3:03
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANUGAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 11 JANUARY 2021, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations Headquarters

11 JANUARY 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2.Multiscreen
3.SOUNDBITE (English) Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative and head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS):
“Yet, insecurity continues to prevail and to harm innocent lives. After the end of the rainy season, militants have again staged audacious and deadly attacks, notably in Niger, where more than 100 people died in just one assault nine days ago. Despite important successes, insecurity has expanded to new areas previously considered safe havens where, like in Northwest Nigeria, militants collude with criminal and other networks.”
4.Multiscreen
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative and head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS):
“As a result of prevailing insecurity, the humanitarian situation has further aggravated, triggering new population displacements and reaching a cumulative figure of five million people, which is 1.4 million higher than in 2019. Behind these figures are millions of human lives that are devastated and hundreds of thousands of children who are deprived of life-changing education.”
6. Multiscreen
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative and head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS):
“I urge all national actors to overcome personal grievances and make gestures of genuine reconciliation to leave behind the long shadows of the past and turn a decisive page towards a united, prosperous Côte d’Ivoire.”
8. Multiscreen
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative and head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS):
“It is my wish that Guineans work together to set the country on a path of dialogue to address, in a consensual way, the contentious issues that impacted the recent electoral cycle and other root causes of conflict in order to strengthen social cohesion, promote reconciliation and ultimately unlock the country’s enormous potential.”
10. Multiscreen
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative and head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS):
“In neighbouring Guinea-Bissau, the closure of UNIOGBIS on 31 December, after 20 years of UN field mission presence in the country, marked an auspicious moment for Bissau-Guineans to come together and agree on a new Constitution that is more adapted to the country’s specificities, breaking the cycle of political upheavals, violence, and complex governance challenges.”
12. Multiscreen
STORYLINE
The head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) Mohamed Ibn Chambas said, “insecurity continues to prevail and to harm innocent lives” in West Africa and the Sahel region, adding that “after the end of the rainy season, militants have again staged audacious and deadly attacks, notably in Niger, where more than 100 people died in just one assault nine days ago.”

Via a video link, Chambas today briefed the Security Council on the latest report of the Secretary-General on the activities of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS).

The UNOWAS chief noted that the briefing was held against the backdrop of a year of multiple challenges, triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, that have affected all countries worldwide without exception, plunging most countries of the region into recession and leading to a diversion of resources from productive investments and the fight against insecurity.

On 11 December, militants allegedly affiliated with Boko Haram stormed the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, in Katsina State, in northeast Nigeria, and took more than 300 young boys hostage. Chambas welcomed the swift efforts that were made by Nigerian authorities in rescuing and bringing the boys home.

However, he said, “despite important successes, insecurity has expanded to new areas previously considered safe havens where, like in Northwest Nigeria, militants collude with criminal and other networks.”

Chambas also stated, “as a result of prevailing insecurity, the humanitarian situation has further aggravated, triggering new population displacements and reaching a cumulative figure of five million people, which is 1.4 million higher than in 2019.”

The UNOWAS chief continued, “behind these figures are millions of human lives that are devastated and hundreds of thousands of children who are deprived of life-changing education.”

Since his last report to the Council, five presidential, three legislative, and two local elections were held in West Africa.

In Côte d’Ivoire, Chambas was encouraged by the appointment of a Minister of National Reconciliation and the start of a national dialogue process to rebuild national cohesion after an electoral process fraught with disagreements. With only two months ahead of the polls, which are scheduled for 6 March, he urged “all national actors to overcome personal grievances and make gestures of genuine reconciliation to leave behind the long shadows of the past and turn a decisive page towards a united, prosperous Côte d’Ivoire.”

In Guinea, incidents of political and inter-communal violence have claimed more lives, the UNOWAS chief said, “it is my wish that Guineans work together to set the country on a path of dialogue to address, in a consensual way, the contentious issues that impacted the recent electoral cycle and other root causes of conflict in order to strengthen social cohesion, promote reconciliation and ultimately unlock the country’s enormous potential.”

In neighbouring Guinea-Bissau, Chambas said, “the closure of UNIOGBIS on 31 December, after 20 years of UN field mission presence in the country, marked an auspicious moment for Bissau-Guineans to come together and agree on a new Constitution that is more adapted to the country’s specificities, breaking the cycle of political upheavals, violence, and complex governance challenges.”

The UNOWAS chief also expressed his appreciation for the Council’s continued support to the implementation of UNOWAS’ mandate while reiterating his office’s commitment to continue accompanying national and regional actors to enhance peace and stability in West Africa and the Sahel.
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