UN top envoy: Resurgence of coups d'état, consequence of being ‘completely out of step’  

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After a recent wave of attempts and coups d'état successful Central African Republic, Mali, Sudan and Guinea, The UN Special Representative for the region told the Security Council connected Monday this resurgence, peculiarly successful West Africa, “is often the effect of governmental practices that are wholly retired of measurement with the aspirations of the populations.” 

Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh, who besides heads the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), commended the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for its engagement with the crises successful Mali and Guinea and said UNOWAS supports all efforts for a instrumentality to law bid arsenic soon arsenic possible. 

Mr. Mahamat Saleh believes that West Africa and the Sahel proceed to marque advancement successful galore areas but warned that the subregion is “struggling with insecurity, which risks reversing hard-won advances.” 


Nigerian subject   successful  the Agadez portion   of the Sahara godforsaken  successful  Niger.

Nigerian subject successful the Agadez portion of the Sahara godforsaken successful Niger., by © UNICEF/Ashley Gilbertson

The Special Representative shared some progress with the Council members, such as the state of border negotiations between Cameroon and Nigeria, and elections successful Gambia and Cape Verde. 

For the Special Representative, “these examples corroborate the attraction of democracy, as the surest vector for shaping the aboriginal of communities.” 

Despite these political advances, Mr. Saleh believes the information situation has go much worrying. 

In Burkina Faso, for example, there are “incessant” attacks by violent groups; while in Mali and Niger, large-scale attacks against subject and civilian targets continue. 

In Nigeria, an upsurge successful transgression betwixt farmers and herders coincides with extremist unit successful the northeast; different incidents, though tiny successful scale, have occurred in the northbound of Côte d'Ivoire, Benin and Togo.  

For Mr. Mahamat Saleh, these events demonstrate that the “threat of acts of coercion moving from the Sahel towards the coastal countries of the Gulf of Guinea is simply a reality.” 

Humanitarian crisis 

One of the large consequences of the security situation is a multifaceted humanitarian crisis, with rising nutrient prices and increasing poverty.  

Right now, much than 38 cardinal people risk moving retired of food by the adjacent thin season, a 23 per cent increase from past year. 

The increasing insecurity has also led to monolithic colonisation displacement. 

In November 2021, determination were much than 8 cardinal refugees, internally displaced persons, returnees and stateless persons successful West Africa and 4.1 cardinal successful the G5 Sahel countries (Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania). 

For Mr. Saleh, the main result of all these challenges is that “millions of children are increasing up successful hard conditions, traumatized, malnourished, poorly cared for, and without education.” 

Executive Director of the UN Office connected  Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Ghada Waly during the opening   of the Ninth league   of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, taking spot  successful  Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

Executive Director of the UN Office connected Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Ghada Waly, by UNIS Vienna

Security concerns 

The Director-General of the UN Office connected Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Ghada Fathi Waly, besides briefed Council members.   

She said the Gulf of Guinea continues to beryllium a precedence concern, with incidents on the West African seashore accounting for the bulk of kidnappings astatine oversea for ransom, occurring worldwide. 

A new study by maritime information probe group, Stable Seas, conducted successful concern with UNODC, estimates that piracy and equipped robbery astatine oversea are costing the Gulf of Guinea States $1.94 billion every year. 

Port fees and import tariffs mislaid owed to decreased shipping enactment are estimated at $1.4 cardinal per year.  

“These billions correspond mislaid potential, and funds that could different beryllium invested successful licit economies and successful processing coastal communities, funds that are needed present much than ever successful the continuing COVID-19 crisis”, Ms. Waly said.   

Across the region, organized crime, facilitated by corruption, is also perpetuating instability, violence, and poverty.  

Lack of opportunities and vexation thrust much younker to piracy and crime, and permission them much receptive to radicalization narratives”, the UNODC chief warned.  

People and cause trafficking 

These hopeless conditions also render much radical susceptible to quality trafficking.  

According to the 2020 UNODC Global Report connected Trafficking successful Persons, 59 per cent of trafficking victims registered in West and Central Africa, are children, and 27 per cent are women.  

Rising non-medical usage of pharmaceutical opioids and cause usage disorders are harming wellness and nationalist safety, arsenic the portion continues to beryllium heavy affected by amerciable tramadol imports.  

At the aforesaid time, Ms. Waly informed, West Africa has emerged arsenic a shaper of methamphetamine, chiefly destined for markets successful East and Southeast Asia.  

Greater information threats are being posed by cocaine trafficking, with West Africa serving arsenic a large transit country for onward shipments to Western and Central Europe, arsenic good arsenic cannabis resin trafficking.  

“The worth of these illicit flows exceeds the nationalist budgets of immoderate transit countries, which is highly destabilizing successful this analyzable information situation”, Ms. Waly said.  

General Assimi Goita, person  of the subject   junta that has overthrown the Malian authorities  doubly  successful  the past   2  years.

General Assimi Goita, person of the subject junta that has overthrown the Malian authorities doubly successful the past 2 years., by © Michele Cattani

More sanctions for Mali 

Also connected Monday, the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS decided to uphold sanctions already imposed connected Mali and connected transitional military authorities, who seized powerfulness successful a coup past May, and enforce further measures.  

ECOWAS leaders noted the nonaccomplishment of the subject authorities to instrumentality to an statement to clasp Presidential elections earlier 27 February of this year, contrary to a woody reached successful September of 2020. 

In a statement, the Authority said it “deeply deplores the evident and blatant deficiency of governmental volition from the Transition authorities”.  

It besides says the caller calendar, submitted connected 8 January, and mounting the duration of the modulation for a full of 5 and a fractional years, is “totally unacceptable.” 

This calendar simply means that an illegitimate subject modulation Government volition instrumentality the Malian radical hostage during the adjacent 5 years”, the connection says.  

Among the further sanctions, the Authority decided to adjacent onshore and aerial borders betwixt ECOWAS countries and Mali, and suspend each commercialized and fiscal transactions, with the objection of nutrient and pharmaceutical products, aesculapian supplies and equipment, and petroleum products and electricity.

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