In Niger, Guterres calls for more resources to fight terrorist attacks in the African Sahel |

Speaking after meeting with Niger’s President Mohamed Bazum, he said that “the international community must realize” that terrorism is “not just a regional or African problem, but one that threatens the whole world“.

Peace, stability, prosperity

He reiterated his call for more resources to address the issue, stating that “peace, stability and prosperity in Niger and throughout the Sahel remain an absolute priority for the United Nations.”

President Mohamed Bazum acknowledged Mr. Guterres’ commitment to finding a solution to the problem of terrorism, saying that it is “dynamic, evolving and we need to adapt our response“.

Meanwhile, the former president of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufouagreed to the request of the Chair of the African Union and the Secretary-General of the United Nations to leadn Joint African Union (AU)-UN 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 evaluation will be carried out in consultation with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Joint Secretariat of the Group of Five (G5).

Civilians as victims

The UN says Niger’s insecurity is driven by a number of different actors, and as the UN chief noted, “civilians are often the first victims” when violence occurs. The figures show that almost eight out of ten victims of attacks are civilians.

A number of extremist armed groups operate mainly 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 often cross the border to carry out raids; gun thugs in Niger also pose a serious threat.

In 2021, the Global Terrorism Index attributed 588 deaths in Niger to terrorism, the highest number of terrorism-related deaths in a decade. In the Tillabéri region, deaths more than doubled between 2020 and 2021.

Uncertainty only part of what the Secretary-General called “a multifaceted crisis of extraordinary proportions”. Climate change, deteriorating food security, malnutrition and record high food prices caused by the war in Ukraine have contributed to unprecedented humanitarian needs.

Women in Niger prepare fields for the rainy season as part of an initiative to combat desertification.

© FAO/Giulio Napolitano

Women in Niger prepare fields for the rainy season as part of an initiative to combat desertification.

The UN names the number the number of people suffering from severe food insecurity has more than doubled since 2020and estimates that 15 percent of Niger’s 25 million population will be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2022.

In a country where 80 percent of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihood, insecurity and climate change have left them unable to feed themselves.

The 2019 Human Development Index, which measures life expectancy, education and income, ranked Niger as the least developed of the 189 countries on the list.

hope for the future

Despite the many challenges facing Niger, the UN Secretary-General told the media in Niamey that there was still “hope” and that the UN must live up to that hope and support young Nigerians, especially women, to access opportunities to create a better future. .

He said “positive momentum in Niger” could lead to a virtuous cycle of change by region.

Mr. Guterres will continue his trip to Nigeria on Tuesday.

The UN needs to live up to the hopes of young Nigerians.

© UNICEF/Frank Dejong

The UN needs to live up to the hopes of young Nigerians.

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