Security, humanitarian issues and good governance in Niger were at the center of discussions between visiting UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and President Mohamed Bazoum.
During his first visit to Niger, the UN Secretary General made a point of welcoming Niger’s democracy. “I salute the democratic life in Niger. It represents an example for the region and the entire continent.”
The UN chief, who underlined the challenges the army faces in its daily fight against terrorists, called for more support to the Sahel country. “Looking at the remarkable performance of the Niger army, the international community must invest fully in strengthening the capacities of the Niger army.”
Echoing him President, Mohamed Bazoum called for solidarity with Sahel countries, saying this solidarity is more than necessary, in view of the “challenges we face: terrorism, violence, climate change, human distress…”
The United Nations will remain at the side of Niger “to offer prospects to Niger’s youth, including young girls,” said the UN chief, underscoring that the country raises a lot of hope.
Antonio Guterres is expected to go this Tuesday to Ouallam, in the region of Tillabery, not far from the border with Mali, to meet representatives of over 12 thousand refugees from Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. According to press reports, the situation in the three countries’ border region displaced some 126,000 people.
He will also visit the “Almahaou” force stationed there to fight terrorism along the Niger-Mali borders.
This trip should allow him to see the security and humanitarian situation in the region.
Guterres arrived in Niger Monday in the frame of a working tour that led him to Senegal over the weekend and that will also take him to Nigeria.