UN Peacekeeping Mission Still Committed To Mali Despite Human Rights Chief Expulsion
The United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission in Mali on Monday said it remained committed to its mandate despite the Mali government’s expulsion of the head of its human rights division, reported The UN News.
“MINUSMA reaffirms its commitment to continue to work impartially to implement its mandate to promote and protect human rights,” it said in a statement.
It added that it remained committed to an open and transparent collaboration with the Malian authorities.
On Sunday, Mali’s military government declared Guillaume Ngefa-Atondoko Andali, the head of the United Nations peacekeeping missions human rights division, persona non grata and ordered him to leave the country in 48 hours’ time. Mr. Ngefa was not present in Mali when the expulsion announcement was made.
In a televised statement, government spokesman Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga said the UN official had committed subversive actions in his selection of witnesses to testify at UN Security Council briefings on Mali.
“I deeply regret the decision by the Malian authorities to declare my representative, Guillaume Ngefa, as persona non grata and to order him to leave the country in 48 hours,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, said on Monday.
Notably, MINUSMA was set up in 2013 to help stabilize the West African country after a Tuareg rebellion the previous year that gave rise to a rampant jihadist insurgency.
Despite the MINUSMA troop’s deployment, the security situation has continued to deteriorate in the West African country.
Local and foreign troops have been unable to control the militant groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State. Over the past decade, they have spread across the Sahel and down to coastal West African countries, killing thousands and displacing over 2 million people in the process.
Frustrations over growing insecurity have resulted in a number of military coups over the past three years, including two in Mali in 2020 and 2021.