UN’s regional African offices meet to discuss common security issues

Civilians displaced by increasing LRA attacks.
UN Photo/Tim McKulka
Civilians displaced by increasing LRA attacks.

UN’s regional African offices meet to discuss common security issues

The United Nations political offices in West Africa and Central Africa have held a joint meeting on common cross-border threats, such as piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, the aftermath of the Libyan crisis on security across the Sahel and the activities of the notorious rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

Said Djinnit, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, and Abou Moussa, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Central Africa met in Dakar, Senegal, in the first of a series of planned exchanges, according to a joint press release issued today.

The meeting between Mr. Djinnit, who is also head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), and Mr. Moussa, who spearheads the UN Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), was aimed at creating a regional approach to conflict prevention and peacebuilding, the offices said.

Mr. Moussa briefed on ongoing efforts to control the LRA, which have wrought havoc in several countries, while Mr. Djinnit also discussed the work of the Cameroon Nigeria Mixed Commission, the UN-backed mechanism for peacefully resolving the long-standing border dispute between the two countries.

Recently, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed increased insecurity in a message to a meeting of the UN Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa, emphasizing the need to reduce the flow of arms in the region. Mr. Ban has also deployed a team to assess the scope of the piracy threat in the Gulf of Guinea.