UN Secretary-General to visit Nigeria, other African countries

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The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, would be paying a visit to Nigeria and several other West African countries starting this weekend.

According to UN, the visit would be to highlight the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the African continent.

Following trips this week to Russia and Ukraine, Guterres would arrive Saturday evening in Senegal for an official visit on May 1 and 2.

He would then be in Niger until May 3 before finishing his tour in Nigeria on May 3 and 4.

In Senegal, he would take part in a traditional Ramadan sunset meal with President Macky Sall, the current chairperson of the African Union, UN deputy spokesman, Farhan Haq, said at a daily press briefing.

During his tour, Guterres would also hold talks with Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum and his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari.

In all three countries, the UN chief would meet with civil society representatives and religious leaders as well, the spokesman said.

Talks had also been planned with victims of violence, instability, and terrorism in the Sahel.

Meanwhile, there has been concerns over the wider impacts of the war in Ukraine. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation warned earlier in April that the disruption in exports resulting from the February 24 invasion, coupled with the international sanctions on Russia, had resulted in fears of a global hunger crisis.

The FAO estimated famine in West Africa and the Sahel regions both highly dependent on Russian and Ukrainian grains could worsen and affect over 38 million people by June if no measures were taken.