burkina faso's foreign ministry said on friday that the un coordinator in the country has been told to leave by the end of the day

Burkina Faso orders the UN Coordinator to leave, declaring her “persona non grata.”

Last updated on December 26th, 2022 at 08:34 am

Burkina Faso’s foreign ministry said on Friday that the UN coordinator in the country has been told to leave by the end of the day because she is “persona non grata,” which means “not welcome.” The Italian diplomat Barbara Manzi, who was serving as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Burkina Faso, “is designated “persona non grata” in the territory of Burkina Faso,” according to a statement made by the ministry. The statement did not provide an official justification for the expulsion. “As a result, it has been demanded of her that she depart Burkina Faso immediately, on the 23rd of December 2022.”

Olivia Rouamba, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated that the decision made by Manzi to “unilaterally” withdraw non-essential United Nations workers from the capital city of Ouagadougou justified the move. The pullback on participation “discredits and tarnishes the image of the country, which in turn discourages future investors from investing there.” “It’s incomprehensible, and we need to take responsibility,” she said on a TV station.

Rouamba said that Manzi “predicted chaos in Burkina Faso in the coming months” and that the United Nations should be a “support structure” while the West African state fights a brutal jihadist insurgency. Burkina Faso is an impoverished, landlocked country in the heart of the Sahel. Since 2015, it has been plagued by assaults perpetrated by jihadists linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group. Around two million people have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the insurgency, which has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of people.

The deportation, according to a diplomatic source, “risks placing the country in a delicate situation at a time when Burkina Faso needs allies more than ever to deal with the security and humanitarian crises,” the source added. According to another diplomatic source, the expulsion of Manzi was the result of a “long list of recriminations.” This information was provided to the AFP.

According to a second source, Manzi is also accused of “trying to influence in a bad way” and “meddling in Burkina Faso’s political affairs.” This is on top of the demand that all non-essential staff members be taken away. Both of these accusations are made along with the demand that all staff members who are not essential should be fired.

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In addition, Rouamba stated that Burkina Faso “kept extremely strong cooperation” with the United Nations in spite of Manzi’s exclusion from the organization. Since August 2021, Manzi has been serving in her capacity as a UN humanitarian coordinator in Burkina Faso. In this capacity, she had been at her post in Burkina Faso.

The expulsion of the UN employee came just a few days after the expulsion of two French citizens working for a Burkinabe company. The authorities in Burkina Faso accused the French nationals of espionage and evicted them. After the suspension of Radio France Internationale (RFI), which is frequently listened to in the West African state, Burkina Faso’s media organizations have also accused the ruling junta of engaging in a crackdown.

Dissatisfied officers have staged two coups this year, the most recent of which occurred in September when Captain Ibrahim Traore replaced Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba. Both of these coups were spurred by the growing military toll against the jihadists.

A statement made by the Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, Apollinaire Kyelem de Tembela, earlier this month expressed his desire to “diversify partnership relations until we discover the perfect formula for the interests of Burkina Faso.” He also said that “some partners” have “not always been loyal,” but he didn’t say which countries he was talking about.