Vietnam condemns attacks on civilians in West Africa, Sahel hinh anh 1Malian military joins the G5 Sahel Joint Force. (Photo: AFP)
New York (VNA) – A Vietnamese representative strongly condemned attacks on innocent civilians in West Africa and the Sahel while attending the United Nations Security Council’s online conference on January 11.

The diplomat also called on parties to implement the International Humanitarian Law to ensure legitimate benefits of local people, as well as facilitate humanitarian activities in the areas.

Minister Counsellor Nguyen Phuong Tra, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations, said Vietnam took note of the complexity of the political situation in West Africa and the Sahel during the past few months, when elections in some countries were marred with tensions and challenges.

She called on all stakeholders in these countries to work toward consensus on areas of disagreement so that the incoming elections of 2021 could take place in an inclusive, transparent, credible and peaceful manner.

The Vietnamese diplomat commended the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), the UN Teams, regional organisations and the G5 Sahel Joint Force for their efforts in proactively engaging and working with related parties to maintain peace, security and stability in the region.

Vietnam also welcomes the ongoing efforts to promote the participation and representations of women in the political and peace processes in several countries, she said, adding the country look forward to seeing women and youth playing greater roles in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction in the region in 2021.

According to Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UNOWAS Mohamed Ibn Chambas, West Africa and the Sahel witnessed the several elections in regional countries which attracted the attention of the international community.

It also saw complicated developments of the security situation due to an increase in terrorist activities coupled with escalating tensions between communities, particularly in the Central Sahel.

The COVID-19 pandemic sent the regional economy into a critical recession, reversing achievements in economy, poverty reduction and implementation of sustainable development goals.

Some 5 million people had to leave their accommodation in 2020, up 1.4 million as compared to the previous year, he said, stressing food security, transnational crimes and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea are main challenges of the region.

Other UNSC members spoke highly of the roles of the Special Representative, and UNOWAS, while calling the African Union and ECOWAS to continue coordination with the UNOWAS to maintain peace, security and development in the region./.