The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Chief of Bureau for the United Nations in West Africa and the Sahel yesterday ended a four-day visit to Niger which focused on deepening democracy in the country.
Mr Mohamed Ibn Chambas was in the country within the context of the support by the United Nations for peaceful, inclusive and transparent legislative and presidential elections.
Discussions during the meeting were also intended to encourage the country’s authorities, political actors as well as civil society organisations to choose dialogue and consensus in the resolution of all differences and consolidate peace and democracy in Niger.
During this mission, Mohamed Ibn Chamas was received by the President of the Republic of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou. He also met with members of government, the President of the Independent National Electoral Commission, political actors, civil society organisations, the humanitarian community and development partners as well as the country team of the United Nations”, a communiqué issued at the end of the visit reveals.
According to the communiqué, the discussions focused on diverse points related to the preparation and the organisation of forthcoming local and national elections, the political situation, the effect of floods as well as the support of the United Nations and that of the international community in the country.
“The continued terrorist threat, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as floods, is necessary for all the parties involved to affirm their engagement for organising a peaceful vote, respect for human rights and the laws in Niger”, declared the UN official.
“I call on the authorities of Niger, the political actors and the civil society organisations to redouble their efforts to ensure peaceful, inclusive and transparent elections,” Mr Ibn Chambas insisted.
Among other things, the United Nations official also underlined to all stakeholders, the importance of their role in the consolidation of unity, peace and zero tolerance to violence or incendiary language that may lead to violence.
According to him, the next elections are an opportunity for Niger to reinforce democracy and peace to become a model for all countries in the region.
“Dialogue to overcome differences and act together in the interest of Niger and Nigeriens is the only approach that would permit the consolidation of peace, democracy and the prosperity of Niger,” Ibn Chambers urged stakeholders before he left the capital Niamey.