Top envoy in West Africa meets with regional UN officials to discuss new ways to deal with crisis

Top envoy in West Africa meets with regional UN officials to discuss new ways to deal with crisis

Amid spiralling violence and widespread insecurity throughout much of West Africa, the top United Nations envoy in the region was set to meet with the heads of area UN offices today to discuss new ways to tackle the grave, "life and death" issues of the complex crisis.

Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for West Africa was meeting with the heads of UN regional offices in Dakar, Senegal, today to deal with the crises in West Africa.

"In addition to trying to come up with a new approach to address these issues of life and death for the sub-region," Mr. Abdallah said ahead of the meeting, "it is also essential that the international community, notwithstanding its current focus on Iraq, North Korea and elsewhere, should continue to keep in mind the grave situation in West Africa."

He plans to share the outcome of this meeting with members of the Security Council who will be visiting the region next week.

British Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock will lead that 15-member, seven-nation mission to Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone starting next Thursday. Keen to explore new opportunities for progress towards peace and stability in West Africa, Council members will examine country-specific issues and developments at each stop.