United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata and Olusegun Obasanjo today (Thursday) discussed future collaboration and the plight of refugees in Africa during a visit to the UNHCR office in Geneva by the Nigerian president-elect, UNHCR reported.
The meeting was “a vital opportunity to share our dismay over the continuing mayhem in Sierra Leone,” Ogata said afterwards. She recalled her recent mission to West Africa, during which she spoke with civilian victims of rebel atrocities.
Obasanjo blamed economic deprivation for many of Africa’s refugee crises, and urged that initiatives to prevent and resolve conflicts should go hand in hand with steps to address poverty and injustice, UNHCR reported.
The Nigerian president emphasized the importance of “strong and moral leadership” in resolving Africa’s problems. He also pledged to support UNHCR when he takes office in May.
Ogata commended Nigeria-led efforts to restore peace in several West African countries. She said she hoped nations in the region would continue to pursue peace,warning that “a backslide in many areas would be catastrophic”.
“Hundreds of thousands of people have had to leave their homes and many more could be chased into exile,” she said.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
Hundreds of thousands of readers trust The New Humanitarian each month for quality journalism that contributes to more effective, accountable, and inclusive ways to improve the lives of people affected by crises.
Our award-winning stories inform policymakers and humanitarians, demand accountability and transparency from those meant to help people in need, and provide a platform for conversation and discussion with and among affected and marginalised people.
We’re able to continue doing this thanks to the support of our donors and readers like you who believe in the power of independent journalism. These contributions help keep our journalism free and accessible to all.
Show your support as we build the future of news media by becoming a member of The New Humanitarian.