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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Makes First Visit to Nigeria 


FILE - United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (C) delivers a speech at an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Ouallam, Niger, on May 3, 2022 during his visit to the country.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, at the start of a two-day visit to Nigeria, is in northeast Borno state, where the country has been struggling in its fight against Islamist militants.

The United Nations information center in Nigeria said the Secretary General is expected to meet with the Borno state governor, Babagana Zulum in Maiduguri, the state capital before embarking on a field mission where he will meet families affected by the Boko Haram conflict ravaging the region for more than twelve years.

The center said he will also evaluate the impact of climate change on vulnerable communities and assess progress made as well as the challenges to the COVID-19 recovery.

Guterres will then head to Nigeria’s capital to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osibanjo and other top cabinet officials.

In Abuja, Guterres is expected to officiate a wreath-laying ceremony for victims of the 2011 bombing at the U.N. house and will then meet with young people’s delegates, women, religious leaders and diplomatic communities and journalists.

It is the first visit by the U.N. secretary-general to Nigeria since his appointment. The visit is part of his annual Ramadan solidarity visits to nations.

But this year, Guterres is focusing on countries affected by terrorism and also highlighting the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on the African continent.

Before arriving in Nigeria, Guterres already visited Senegal and Niger.

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