BREAKING: President Akufo-Addo tasks new UN Envoy to immediately halt spate of coups in West Africa

President Akufo-Addo has called on the Under Secretary General of the United Nations and new Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, UNOWAS, to take immediate steps aimed at restoring democratic rule in countries in the region where there have been military coups and constitutional overthrows....CONTINUE READING

He made the call when he received the new UNOWAS boss, Leonardo Santos Simão, in his office at the Jubilee House. Mr. Simão is in Ghana as part of his familiarisation tour of West Africa and the Sahel following his appointment to the new office.

The United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) is a political mission managed by the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs. UNOWAS was established in 2002 following a request to the Security Council by the then UN Secretary-General, the late Kofi Annan. Its original mandate has changed over time to reflect the needs of the region and was last extended in January 2023. UNOWAS has the responsibility for preventive diplomacy, good offices, and political mediation and facilitation efforts in West Africa and the Sahel.

UNOWAS also works to prevent conflict, election, and transition-related tensions, sustain peace, consolidate peacebuilding efforts, and political stability, based on the rule of law in partnership with regional and subregional entities and other actors, as relevant.

UNOWAS works closely with regional and subregional entities such as the African Union, ECOWAS, and the Group of Five for the Sahel, among others, to support regional solutions to cross-cutting threats to peace and security, such as terrorism and violent extremism, transnational organised crime, piracy, and maritime insecurity. President Akufo-Addo noted that West Africa, which five years ago was held as a model of democratic governance on the continent, has now been saddled with insecurity.

The President said how to reestablish democratic rule in these nations is a major preoccupation for the region.

The UNOWAS Boss, Leonardo Santos Simão, on his part, registered his appreciation to President Akufo-Addo and his government for supporting his candidature for his new role.

He indicated that since assuming office, it has become clear to him that the most significant challenge that West Africa and the Sahel region are facing is threats to security.

Mr Santos Simão, assured President Akufo-Addo and other regional leaders of his commitment to ensuring that the UN works closely with ECOWAS to guarantee the security and stability of the region….CONTINUE READING