04/04/2013

Said Djinnit talks about the UN's mission in Mali and the role of the Canary Islands in African development at Casa África

Image of the press conference this morning at Casa África

Image of the press conference this morning at Casa África

The Special Representative of the General Secretary of the United Nations for Western Africa, Said Djinnit,commented at Casa África this morning that the International Support Mission to Mali (MISMA) is in the process of transformation into a peace mission, with a proposal which has already been submitted to the Security Council of the UN and that the agency is considering. The peacekeeping force in Mali would be placed in the safe areas of the country, but also seeks to combat lingering terrorism in northern Mali.

The process of transferring a military intervention force to a peacekeeping force will take several months to be effective, about three, according to Djinnit, who said that, right now, the UN is present on the field and together with IT an outpost office in Bamako.

This was one of the issues that the UN's representative for West Africa addressed in his appearance before the media in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where he also encouraged Spanish and Canarian contribution in the development of West Africa with initiatives such as the Euro-African Governance Institute, in which, as he said you have to invest. He also stated that, overall, West Africa is an area that can attract foreign investment because it has a situation of  general stability, there is a lack of conflicts in most of its countries and because of the resources and immense potential it has.

Djinnit reminded those present that the area faces the difficulties of governance and leadership in building a rule of law, with coups d'etat and electoral violence, but also outlined positive democratic examples in the region such as Ghana, Senegal or Sierra Leone. He also noted that West Africa faces the threat of transnational drug and people trafficking, growing piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and terrorism affecting the Sahel region. The representative spoke of regional collaboration together with that from the international community, to address these problems and reminded us of Spain's role, and particularly that of the Canary Islands, due to its geographical, cultural and historical proximity with Africa, which is essential when it comes to cooperating with the continent in economic matters, education, tourism, health and services.

 

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