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Nigerian president-elect meets UNHCR

[Togo] Opposition march to protest against Gnassingbe's seizure of his power and his refusal to stand down while elections are organised. 19 February 2005.

Thousands of people hit the streets to march against Gnassingbe's rule on Saturday
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

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