UN Chief, Guterres to visit Nigeria after Russia, Ukraine trip

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres is set to embark on a Ramadan solidarity visit to three West African nations.

The visit to Nigeria, Senegal and Niger will begin on Saturday; Guterres is expected to be in Nigeria on Tuesday.

Deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters on Friday in New York, United States, that the UN chief’s visit was in respect of his annual Ramadan visit.

Guterres began the courtesy calls when he was High Commissioner for Refugees, but was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He will highlight the insecurity in Nigeria and express solidarity with victims of terrorism in the country and the region, Haq told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

“On Saturday evening, he expects to be in Senegal. Then from there, we expect him to travel onwards on Monday to Niger and then on Tuesday to Nigeria,” Haq disclosed.

“He will take part in Eid celebrations with President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger and he is scheduled to meet President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria.”

Haq said Guterres would meet and share an Iftar dinner with President Macky Sall of Senegal, who assumed the Presidency of the African Union earlier in 2022.

Guterres will have meetings with senior government officials as well as civil society representatives, including women, youth groups and religious leaders.

“He will meet families deeply affected by violence and instability in the Sahel, including people internally displaced and refugees”, the spokesman said.

The visit of Guterres to West Africa followed his trip to Russia and Ukraine, the highest level trip of a world leader to the two countries at war.

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