UN agencies continue to deliver aid in Niger

© FAO/Luis Tato | Women in Niger are practicing the sustainable harvesting of forest resources.

United Nations, 14 August 2023

The United Nations continues to deliver aid in Niger, nearly three weeks since President Mohamed Bazoum was seized by some of his guards in a power grab.

Agencies continue to reach people despite the challenges, including the ongoing rainy season, UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, told journalists in New York on Monday.

Roughly 4.3 million people in the West African country rely on humanitarian aid. 

Last week, 22,000 people in the Maradi region, located in the centre, received cash assistance and food items.

“We and our humanitarian partners are also working with de facto authorities to identify and prepare a site to accommodate about 13,000 internally displaced people in Ouro Gueladjo, in the Tillabéri region,” Mr. Dujarric said

He added that the people had been displaced from several villages in mid-July, before the current political crisis. 

Mediation and concern

The attempted overthrow of President Bazoum has been condemned by the UN and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Secretary-General António Guterres and other senior UN officials have repeatedly called for the reinstatement of the democratically elected leader, who remains under house arrest. 

Last week, both Mr. Guterres and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, voiced concern following reports that the President and his family are living without electricity, water, food or medicine.

“Those responsible for the detention of the President must ensure the full respect and protection of his human rights, and of all others being held,” Mr. Türk said on Friday.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Léonardo Santos Simão, has also warned that the security situation in the region could worsen unless the political crisis is resolved.

The UN supports mediation efforts by ECOWAS towards restoring constitutional order in Niger.

During a meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, last Thursday, the regional bloc ordered the immediate activation of its intervention force. 

The development came in the wake of its extraordinary summit held in Abuja just days after the crisis erupted, where leaders issued a communiqué that called for President Bazoum to be returned to power within a week of their meeting.

International media reported on Monday that the de facto leaders in Niger plan to prosecute the President for high treason and undermining internal and external security. 

The original article appeared here.

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