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Security: UN Special Rep. reaffirms UN support to peace, security in Sahel

UN support to peace, security in Sahel - The Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General in West Africa, Said Djinnit, has reiterated the support of the UN to the Nouakchott process, initiated by the African Union (AU) to create a working framework among member countries, PANA reported Thursday, quoting a statement from the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA).

The Nouakchott process involves ways to enhance Security Cooperation and the Operationalisation of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) in the Sahelo-Saharan region.

The maiden meeting of this programme was held in Nouakchott, Mauritania, on 17 March 2013, where leaders agreed on a series of measures to address the security challenges facing the region.

It was particularly agreed that the appropriate ministers would meet at least once every six months, while the Heads of Intelligence and Security Services would meet once every two months.

The Second Ministerial meeting was held in N'Djamena, on 11 September, 2013, and the Heads of Intelligence and Security Services met three times in between the two ministerial meetings.

Djinnit, who attended the third ministerial meeting on the issue Wednesday in Niamey, the Nigerien capital, hailed the efforts that have been made to tackle security challenges in the Sahel.

The UN Diplomat also evoked the “United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel' and the mechanisms for the coordination of efforts, including the creation of a technical secretariat aimed at supporting the cooperation platform which is to co-chaired by UN and AU.

“Experts of the UN and the AU are currently in close consultation and will meet on 21 February in Bamako to finalize the terms of reference of the Coordination Mechanism of the Sahel,' the statement indicated.

Djinnit further recalled that a technical meeting is to be held in Dakar on 1s March involving experts from regional organizations in order to ensure greater efficiency in their interventions.

Pana 21/02/2014