Discontent could breed extremism – UN chief

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WINDHOEK – United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who was in Namibia until yesterday, says terrorism and military coups are the result of governments not accommodating the aspirations of their people. He therefore urged the formulation of policies that are inclusive of the entire country.

Ban said when citizens are not happy with government policies, grievances and discontent are the end result, which creates room and breeding ground for terrorism, something  he said all governments should guard against.

“We have seen in some countries that people’s aspirations have not been met by leaders, resulting in the unconstitutional overthrow of governments,”

Ban said at a press briefing convened after he and President Hifikepunye Pohamba commissioned the United Nations House in Windhoek on Tuesday.

“We are all troubled by the extremism taking place across the world, especially in the Middle East, but these things happen when some people in a country feel excluded and their aspirations are not considered.”

Some of the most recent coups on the African continent took place in Mauritania, Egypt, Madagascar and the Central African Republic.

Exhorting leaders to take the concerns of their people seriously, the UN chief said: “Elections do not give you full legitimacy because even if you are elected, you must still demonstrate good governance, protect human rights and the rule of law.”

Ban mentioned as examples the case of Nigeria’s extremist group, Boko Haram, which recently abducted over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls, as well as the Middle East where terrorist activities continue unabated. He however vowed that the United Nations would not stop the fight against terrorism.

“We have the global counter-terrorism strategy and I have established the counter-terrorism task force on how to provide logistics,  means and ways to UN member states to prevent any potential breeding ground posed by non-functioning or mismanaged governance. It is important to comprehensively address terrorism,” he said.

Ban and his wife Ban Soon-taek were in the country on a two-day visit to commission the UN House. Ban held official talks with President Pohamba, while his wife visited the Katutura Intermediate Hospital and Windhoek Central Hospital, respectively.

The UN delegation left the country yesterday.

By Mathias Haufiku

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