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UN chief to visit Nigeria, two others in West Africa

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UN warns of global upsurge in domestic violence since COVID-19 lockdowns

The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, will begin a Ramadan solidarity visit to Nigeria, Senegal, and Niger, beginning on Saturday.

The former Portuguese prime minister will be in Nigeria on Tuesday.

The Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, Farhan Haq, told journalists on Friday in New York that Guterres would be in the three countries for his 2022 annual Ramadan visit.

Guterres began the annual Ramadan solidarity visits when he was UN High Commissioner for Refugees, but the tradition was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The spokesman said the UN chief would talk about insecurity in Nigeria and throughout the Sahel, noting that he would highlight the impact of the Ukraine war on Africa.

Haq said: “However, at the same time, the Ukraine crisis does have an impact on the African continent, including through higher food prices and other challenges.

“He wants to discuss those challenges with the leaders with whom he is meeting.”

The spokesman also briefed journalists on Guterres’ agenda in the three nations.

READ ALSO: Jonathan outlines ways to ensure peace in West African subregion

“He added: On Saturday evening, he expects to be in Senegal. Then from there, we expect him to travel onwards on Monday to Niger and then on Tuesday to Nigeria.

“The secretary-general will meet and share an Iftar dinner with President Macky Sall of Senegal, who assumed the presidency of the African Union earlier in 2022.

“He will also take part in Eid-el-Fitr celebrations with President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger and he is scheduled to meet President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria.

“In the three countries, the secretary-general will have meetings with senior government officials as well as civil society representatives, including women, youth groups, and religious leaders.

“He will meet families deeply affected by violence and instability in the Sahel, including people internally displaced and refugees.”

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