Niger President, UN envoy Meet On Elections, Security In Sahel

Nigerien President Issoufou Mahamadou and Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, on Friday, met for discussions over Niger’s forthcoming general elections.

The elections have been fixed for December 27, 2020.

The duo also discussed the security situation in the African region of Sahel, the presidency announced in a statement on Friday.

One of the topics of the talks was the general elections in Niger scheduled for Dec. 27 to elect the new president and National Assembly.

“They [the elections] will constitute the transfer of power from one elected president to another, for the first time in the history of the country,” Chambas said, as quoted by the statement.

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The envoy also congratulated the Nigerien president on his work on the post of a chairman of the Western African ECOWAS regional bloc, on which he had served since summer 2019.

He relinquished his post to Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo after the 57th ECOWAS summit earlier in September.

The statement added that the officials also discussed the security and humanitarian situation in Niger, aggravated by an increased number of terrorist attacks and floods due to heavy rains.

“On behalf of the UN and on my own behalf, I offered my condolences to the president of the Republic and reaffirmed the continued support and solidarity of the United Nations in Niger,” Chambas said.

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The most recent terrorist attack that attracted attention of the international community took place in August in the Koure giraffe reserve not far from the Nigerien capital of Niamey.

Suspected jihadists shot dead eight people, including aid workers, and burned down their vehicle.

The authorities ruled the Tillabery region, where the reserve is located, to be under the state of emergency over the security situation.

The city of Niamey has been struggling with the flooding caused by torrential rains, due to which the Niger River went out of its banks.

Dozens of people became victims of the cataclysm, thousands were forced to displace as their houses were destroyed by the flooding.

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