UN to open human rights office in Burkina Faso

AFP , Wednesday 6 Oct 2021

The United Nations said Wednesday it will open a human rights office in Burkina Faso "in the context of the complex security situation in the Sahel region".

the UN headquarters
A flag of the United Nations flutters in wind at the main entrance of the Palais des Nations building which houses the United Nations Offices in Geneva, on September 29, 2021. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

The landlocked West African country is one of several in the Sahel battling a rising jihadist insurgency that has killed thousands, forced millions to flee and entrenched grinding poverty.

The agreement to create the new country office was signed by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and Burkina Faso's Foreign Minister Alpha Barry during a ceremony in Geneva.

The new office in the capital Ouagadougou aims to "facilitate the implementation of Burkina Faso's human rights commitments," the UN Human Rights Office said in a statement.

"This is an important step in Burkina Faso's commitment to international human rights standards," Bachelet said.

"This new office will allow us to provide strengthened, tailored support to Burkina Faso in overcoming the many challenges it faces."

The statement said that "with the opening of the country office in Ouagadougou, all five member states of the G5 Sahel will now have a permanent and robust UN human rights country presence."

The G5 Sahel countries are Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

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