Burkina Orders UN Coordinator To Leave

Burkina Faso has ordered the UN’s coordinator in the country to leave by the end of the day, declaring her “persona non grata”, the foreign ministry said Friday.

Ouagadougou, (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 23rd Dec, 2022 ) :Burkina Faso has ordered the UN‘s coordinator in the country to leave by the end of the day, declaring her “persona non grata”, the foreign ministry said Friday.

Italian diplomat Barbara Manzi, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Burkina Faso, “is declared persona non grata in the territory of Burkina Faso. She is therefore requested to leave Burkina Faso today, 23 December 2022″, the ministry said, without giving any official reason for the expulsion.

According to a diplomatic source, the decision came after Manzi recently “requested and obtained the withdrawal of non-essential personnel from the (UN) system in Burkina”.

The diplomatic expulsion “risks placing the country in a delicate situation, at a time when Burkina Faso needs partners more than ever to deal with the security and humanitarian crisis,” the source added.

Another diplomatic source told AFP that a “long list of recriminations” had led to the expulsion of Manzi.

In addition to the request for the withdrawal of non-essential staff, Manzi is also accused of “attempting to influence negatively” and of “interfering in the political affairs of Burkina”, according to the second source.

The UN official’s expulsion comes days after two French nationals working for a Burkinabe company were expelled, with the authorities accusing them of espionage.

Media organisations in Burkina Faso have also accused the ruling junta of a clampdown after Radio France Internationale (RFI), which is widely followed in the Sahel state, was suspended.

A poor landlocked country in the heart of the Sahel, Burkina Faso is battling a seven-year militant insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and driven around two million people from their homes.

Frustration at the mounting military toll has sparked two coups this year by disgruntled officers, most recently on September 30.

Last month Burkinabe Prime Minister Apollinaire Kyelem de Tembela said he hoped to “diversify partnership relations until we find the right formula for the interests of Burkina Faso“.

He also said that “some partners” had “not always been loyal”, without naming any countries.

In July, Burkina’s neighbour Mali, also embroiled in a security crisis, expelled Olivier Salgado, spokesman for the UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), with the ruling junta there accusing him of publishing “unacceptable information” on the arrest of 49 Ivorian soldiers in Bamako.

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