Friday, January 27, 2023
HomeInternationalBurkina Faso expels high UN official in West African nation

Burkina Faso expels high UN official in West African nation

DAKAR (SENEGAL): Burkina Faso‘s authorities expelled the highest UN official within the nation on Friday, asking her to depart instantly, officers mentioned. Barbara Manzi, the United Nations’ resident and humanitarian coordinator within the West African nation, was declared persona non grata, the international affairs ministry mentioned in an announcement.
Burkina Faso has been wracked by violence linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group that has killed 1000’s and displaced practically 2 million individuals – making a rising humanitarian disaster. Lack of religion within the authorities’s capability to stem the violence has led to 2 navy coups this yr.
Whereas no motive was given within the assertion for her expulsion, international minister Olivia Rouamba mentioned on state tv Friday that Manzi had raised the alarm about insecurity within the capital, Ouagadougou, with out offering proof.
“She affirmed that she has data from dependable sources with out agreeing to offer any proof,” Rouamba mentioned. She additionally mentioned Manzi advised her she was in contact with “terrorist leaders” and questioned how Manzi was in a position to simply entry the besieged city of Djibo within the Sahel area whereas the nation’s safety forces have been unable to.
Manzi, who was appointed UN Resident Coordinator in August final yr, typically travelled to arduous hit components of the nation to attempt to increase consciousness concerning the deteriorating humanitarian disaster.
The Italy native has intensive expertise with the UN, working as the top of the UN Workplace for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Ukraine, Iraq, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Earlier than Burkina Faso, she was the resident coordinator in Djibouti.
The United Nations would not instantly touch upon the choice. Diplomats in Burkina Faso mentioned they have been caught unexpectedly, in accordance with a Western official who wasn’t authorised to talk to the media.
Manzi’s expulsion comes amid a authorities crackdown on the worldwide group. Final week, two French residents have been expelled from the nation over accusations of espionage, and earlier this month, the federal government suspended French broadcaster Radio France Internationale for having relayed an “intimidation message” attributed to a “terrorist”, in accordance with an announcement from the junta.
The choice to expel Manzi is a worrying signal and can make it more durable for humanitarian teams to function, support organisations say.
“The abhorrent choice to designate Barbara Manzi, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator/resident coordinator, a PNG (persona non grata) is an indication that this harmful pattern line not solely continues below the present regime however is worsening,” mentioned Alexandra Lamarche, senior fellow at Refugees Worldwide.
“Over time, a lot of these intimidation techniques have tried to pressure support teams to not report on the true extent of the disaster or the federal government and nationwide safety forces’ function in perpetuating violence in opposition to civilians and fuelling humanitarian wants,” she mentioned.

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