The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Saleh Al-Nadif, called Thursday before the Security Council for “responsible democratic governance” to turn the page on the prevailing insecurity in West African countries. .
There is no “magic potion to effectively combat insecurity” in this region, he said, adding that “it necessarily requires democratic and accountable governance, including creating those solutions for people’s daily lives, and respecting the social contract of participation and reciprocal obligations between government and citizens.”
This UN official lamented the fact that the region “continues to develop at a different pace.” According to him, “On the one hand, citizens (…) freely exercise their right to vote to choose their leaders, and on the other hand, soldiers (…) seek to control the political space.”
He continued, “National dialogues are underway in many countries to consolidate democratic governance, at a time when men and women in large parts of the Sahel are fleeing for their safety, and to ensure the education of their children.”
Al-Nadeef believes that extremist and criminal groups exploit the poor living conditions of the population to carry out their magic operation, insofar as their “promises to be a provider of protection and social justice often find fertile ground among vulnerable populations.”
While this official attacks “often inadequate” state structures, he also recognizes that many West African countries have “succeeded in strengthening the foundations of democratic governance”. He mentioned, for example, the cases of Senegal and The Gambia.