UN / SAHEL

07-Jul-2022 00:03:39
The top United Nations official for the Sahel region said, “the information that we have received on the massacres that have been perpetrated on innocent civilian populations, including women and children, convey the tragedy that is unfolding at the moment in this part of the world.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / SAHEL
TRT: 03:39
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / FRENCH / NATS

DATELINE: 07 JULY 2022, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior UN Headquarters

07 JULY 2022, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Med shot, Council President
4. SOUNDBITE (French) Khatir Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS):
“Civilians have been caught in the crossfire between armed groups fighting for supremacy as well as anti-terrorist actions carried out by the National Security and Defense Forces. The information that we have received on the massacres that have been perpetrated on innocent civilian populations, including women and children, convey the tragedy that is unfolding at the moment in this part of the world.”
4. Wide shot, Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Rabab Fatima, Chair, Peacebuilding Commission:
“The commission is gravely concerned at the persistence in violent incidents perpetrated by non-state armed groups, as well as ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist groups, such as the Islamic State in greater Sahara, Islamic State, West Africa province and Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin. The expansion of these terrorist groups to the coastal countries, notably in the Gulf of Guinea, and the growing nexus within organized criminal networks and pirates to facilitate trafficking of drugs and arms and ammunitions is another worrisome trend.”
6. Wide shot, Council
7. Wide shot, press conference dais
8. SOUNDBITE (French) Khatir Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS):
“After two or three years now, the G5 Sahel, the Joint Force has come up against difficulties. Firstly funding. You know that we asked for funding for the joint G5 Sahel force, which has not been forthcoming. And then in 2020, there was the coup d’état in Mali, and then there was the coup d’état in Burkina Faso. And you know that some members have been suspended from ECOWAS. They can't come back together, but possibilities for meetings have begun to shrink. So, what I can say quite simply, in a nutshell, is that the G5 are going through difficulties. Can they overcome these? I can't predict what will happen, but in any case, because of its very concept, it is a necessary tool for the sub region.”
9. Med shot, journalists
10. SOUNDBITE (French) Khatir Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS):
“There are challenges of lack of rainfall that they just can't grow anything. So, we saw this food crisis was already there in 2021. This year again, the rains didn't come when expected. And so, in addition to this, those who want to grow things don't have the fertilizer because of the war in Ukraine. And so, I was saying that in addition to the humanitarian crisis with the displaced persons and refugees, we have a very acute food crisis. And I, quite frankly, want the international community to become aware of this, to become aware of what is going on in the Sahel that the citizens of West Africa have not to be responsible for the crisis in Libya, which meant that the terrorists came. They're not responsible for what's going on in Ukraine. They're suffering the consequences of it. We have to help them. It is high time.”
11. Wide shot, end of presser
STORYLINE
The top United Nations official for the Sahel region today (7 Jul) said, “the information that we have received on the massacres that have been perpetrated on innocent civilian populations, including women and children, convey the tragedy that is unfolding at the moment in this part of the world.”

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) Khatir Mahamat Saleh Annadif, told the Security Council that “civilians have been caught in the crossfire between armed groups fighting for supremacy as well as anti-terrorist actions carried out by the National Security and Defense Forces.”

Annadif was presenting the latest report of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), which he heads, covering developments over the past six months in areas such as politics, security and human rights.

He noted that extremist violence is moving southward and reported that it has gone from being a phenomenon of isolated incidents to a very real threat in coastal countries. He cited the example of Togo, where a state of emergency has been declared in the north.

Also briefing the Council, the Ambassador of Bangladesh, Rabab Fatima, in her capacity of Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, said “the commission is gravely concerned at the persistence in violent incidents perpetrated by non-state armed groups, as well as ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist groups, such as the Islamic State in greater Sahara, Islamic State, West Africa province and Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin. The expansion of these terrorist groups to the coastal countries, notably in the Gulf of Guinea, and the growing nexus within organized criminal networks and pirates to facilitate trafficking of drugs and arms and ammunitions is another worrisome trend.”

At a later press encounter, Annadif said, “after two or three years now, the G5 Sahel, the Joint Force has come up against difficulties. Firstly funding. You know that we asked for funding for the joint G5 Sahel force, which has not been forthcoming. And then in 2020, there was the coup d’état in Mali, and then there was the coup d’état in Burkina Faso. And you know that some members have been suspended from ECOWAS. They can't come back together, but possibilities for meetings have begun to shrink. So, what I can say quite simply, in a nutshell, is that the G5 are going through difficulties. Can they overcome these? I can't predict what will happen, but in any case, because of its very concept, it is a necessary tool for the sub region.”

He said, “there are challenges of lack of rainfall that they just can't grow anything. So, we saw this food crisis was already there in 2021. This year again, the rains didn't come when expected. And so, in addition to this, those who want to grow things don't have the fertilizer because of the war in Ukraine. And so, I was saying that in addition to the humanitarian crisis with the displaced persons and refugees, we have a very acute food crisis. And I, quite frankly, want the international community to become aware of this, to become aware of what is going on in the Sahel that the citizens of West Africa have not to be responsible for the crisis in Libya, which meant that the terrorists came. They're not responsible for what's going on in Ukraine. They're suffering the consequences of it. We have to help them. It is high time.”

Last month, Mali withdrew from the G5 Sahel and its Joint Force on counter terrorism. The UN official continues to advocate with ECOWAS and other partners in favour of the Accra Initiative, a 2017 plan on preventing instability from spreading to coastal countries.

They are currently finalizing discussions towards establishing a secretariat and contributing to capacity building through the UN Office on Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT).
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