‘Actual challenges’ should be addressed past polling day, urges UN West Africa envoy

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In his first briefing to the Safety Council since being appointed to the place, Leonardo Santos Simaõ recalled elections in Benin, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

He mentioned they’d “marked essential steps in direction of democratic consolidation, providing alternatives for residents to decide on their leaders and representatives on the nationwide and subnational degree”.

Shrinking civic and political area, and lack of transparency, had been among the many frequent issues, resulting in a decline in belief in electoral processes, he added.

“These challenges must be addressed manner forward of future elections.

Mali requires ‘utmost consideration’

Mr. Simaõ urged ambassadors to pay the “utmost consideration” to the scenario in Mali, the place the mandate of the UN’s peacekeeping mission MINUSMA was terminated by the Safety Council final month.

“The scenario in Mali continues to require our utmost consideration. In anticipation of an in depth plan, UNOWAS will play its position liaising intensively with ECOWAS and different companions because the mission is ready to attract down till the top of the 12 months,” Mr. Simaõ mentioned, including that he’ll journey to the nation shortly.

Established by the Council in 2013 following a coup the earlier 12 months, the mission’s presence, as of February 2023, stood at greater than 15,000 personnel, in response to MINUSMA.

Media experiences have depicted a grim safety panorama. Over the previous decade, Mali and the Sahel area have seen a surge in clashes and assaults by armed teams and terrorist associates, with 303 peacekeepers killed, in response to the mission.

Illustration of ladies, youth

Mr. Simaõ voiced issues over underrepresentation of ladies in politics and decision-making, emphasizing that failing to incorporate ladies held again sustainable improvement and denied their fundamental human rights.

With greater than 60 per cent of the inhabitants being youthful than 25, youth are an essential group whose voice isn’t but absolutely heard in peacebuilding efforts
– Leonardo Santos Simaõ

Calling upon all stakeholders to advertise laws and implement current devices for ladies’s empowerment and gender equality, he additionally emphasised the position of youth.

“With greater than 60 per cent of the inhabitants being youthful than 25, youth are an essential group whose voice isn’t but absolutely heard in peacebuilding efforts,” Mr. Simaõ mentioned.

Safety scenario

On the safety facet, Mr. Simaõ knowledgeable the 15-member Safety Council that the central Sahel area had seen an extra deterioration within the safety scenario, marked by a number of assaults in opposition to civilians and defence forces.  

In the meantime, he added, as coastal international locations have enhanced their efforts to strengthen policing and safety operations, strengthened by bilateral cooperation, safety threats from the north had been nonetheless an actual concern.


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