8 June 2010

West Africa: UN - Poverty Threatens Stability in West Africa

Increased social and political tensions due to worsening poverty and deteriorating living conditions have become worrisome trends in a number of West African countries, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General for West Africa, Mr. Said Djinnit has said.

He made the statement at 27th session of ECOWAS mediation and Security Council of ministers held yesterday in Abuja.

Djinnit said poverty needs to be addressed in a timely and appropriate manner, to avoid situations which would inevitably fuel a series of violent struggles for survival, with a significant impact on national and regional stability.

He said many people in the region demand opportunities for better livelihood, social justice in the way national resources are allocated.

"Food insecurity and the floods have been persistently affecting large number of West African populations for a number of years now, increasing frustration, anger and tensions among these populations" he stated.

In his speech, ECOWAS chairman of ministers Odein Ajumogobia said the council will review challenges in the sub-region which include the current political crises in Niger Republic, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau and Cote d'Ivoire.

In his speech president of ECOWAS commission Victor Gbeho decried the deleterious impact on the social condition and governance by on-going drug trafficking and other transnational organised crime, including money laundering and sadly, human trafficking.

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