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Security Council reiterates concern over 'alarming' security situation in Africa's Sahel

India Blooms News Service | | 28 Aug 2014, 09:29 am
New York, Aug 28 (IBNS) The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday reiterated its continued concern about the alarming situation in the Sahel region of Africa and reaffirmed its commitment to address the complex security and political challenges.

The 15-member body reiterated, in a presidential statement, the importance of a “coherent, comprehensive and coordinated approach encompassing governance, security, human rights, developmental and environmental aspects to respond to the threats across the Sahel region.”

The Council also reaffirmed its commitment to the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of the Sahel region, while reiterating the importance of national and regional ownership of the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel.

In that regard, it encouraged further close consultation between Member States of the Sahel, West Africa and the Maghreb as well as with regional, multilateral and other bilateral donors and partners to enhance the efforts to implement the Strategy.

The Council also encouraged the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Sahel (OSES) to work closely with the Group of Five (G5) countries as well as other countries of the region.

Gravely concerned about the activities in the Sahel region of terrorist organizations, the Council reiterated its concern over the serious threats to peace and security posed by armed conflict, the proliferation of arms and transnational organized crime and other illicit activities such as drug trafficking.

The Council noted that the humanitarian situation in the Sahel is “extremely fragile” with at least 20 million people at risk of food insecurity and nearly five million children at risk of acute malnutrition. In that regard, the Council commended the efforts of the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the region and called on the international community to strengthen its support in areas which require immediate attention.

The Sahel region stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, and includes Mali, as well as Chad, Mauritania, Niger, and parts of Sudan, Cameroon and Nigeria.

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm