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Governance challenges in West Africa worry the United Nations

United Nations, January 11 (Prensa Latina) The head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Leonardo Santos Simão, today considered governance, education and security, and climate change as the greatest challenges in the region.

In his address to the Security Council, the representative assured that the situation over the past six months has been marked by contrasting developments, between progress in consolidating democracy and challenges on other key issues.

On the one hand, he explained, the United Nations continues to play a key role following the withdrawal of the stabilization mission in Mali, leaving behind necessary lessons for a future that is rapidly approaching.

At the same time, the withdrawal of foreign forces and uncertainty over the institutional coordination framework of the G5 Sahel following the withdrawal of Burkina Faso and Niger are a harbinger of a reconfiguration of regional security coordination mechanisms, the High Representative said.

A completely different picture emerges in Chad, where coordinated operations by the Multinational Joint Task Force have contributed to weak stabilization in the Lake Chad region.

The education sector, on the other hand, reports worrying figures due to the high number of children out of school, the number of schools closed due to insecurity and the worsening of the education deficit.

“Looking forward, the consultations provide a starting point for a multi-stakeholder roadmap to deliver emergency education as the key lever for children to shape their future and build their country,” he urged.

Meanwhile, climate change is having a strong impact on the area, as shown by the situation in the Lake Chad basin and the Liptako-Gourma region.

“We express our deep concern about the serious negative impacts of climate change on peace and security in West Africa and the Sahel and call for urgent action,” he warned.

According to Santos Simão, the area faces persistent droughts and unpredictable rainy seasons, which cause flooding and generally affect peace and security.