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UN chief visits G5 Sahel Force in Mopti, pledges support


On the second day of his visit to Mali, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday travelled to Mopti, where he visited the G5 Sahel Force Base in Sevare.

He made a strong appeal for more predictable financial support to the regional force tackling terrorist threats in the region.

“We have not achieved all the objectives that we have set ourselves to better support the strength of G5 Sahel but we will do our best with MINUSMA to provide the G5 Sahel with all the services it can provide,” he said.

“Support in Mali is an act of generosity and solidarity but it is above all an act of intelligent interest on the part of all those who face security threats if instability in Mali spreads in the region, he added”

Guterres said that the United nations has proposed secure funding options that would allow the Force to better plan its operations.

The G5 Force was set up by Burkina-Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger to strengthen the fight against insecurity in the Sahel region.

After visiting Sévaré, Mr. Guterres returned to Mopti where he met the Imam at the city’s Grand Mosque. With his delegation, which included Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the head of UN peacekeeping operations, the Secretary-General talked with the Imam and the local civil society, focused mainly on the humanitarian and security situation in the region.

During his trip to Mali during the Ramadan period, the Secretary-General fasted in solidarity with Muslims around the world.

CAPTION: UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed by General Didier Dacko, G5 Sahel Joint Force Commander and other Malian Armed Forces (FAMA) officials, as he arrives at the G5 Sahel Joint Force Headquarters in Mopti, Mali.