The military junta that now rules Mali announced on Sunday that it was dismissing the head of the UN mission’s human rights section, MINUSMA, and giving him 48 hours to leave the country. The decision was made after a Malian rights activist made a speech at a United Nations conference last month in which he criticized the current state of security in the country and accused the regime’s new Russian military partners of major violations of human rights.
Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, the government’s spokesman, said in a statement that the head of MINUSMA’s human rights unit, Guillaume Ngefa Atonodok Andali, had been made persona non grata by the foreign ministry.
The following statement was added to the statement, which was also read out on the news broadcast on national television: “This measure comes after the destabilizing and subversive actions of Monsieur Andali.” The statement said that Andali had chosen the people who would represent civil society on his own, without consulting the authorities or institutions of the national government.
According to the statement, Andali’s partiality became even more apparent during the most recent review that the United Nations Security Council conducted on Mali. During a special briefing on Mali that was held by the UN Security Council on January 27, Aminata Cheick Dicko voiced her disapproval of the current government.
In 2013, MINUSMA was established in an effort to provide stability to Mali in the face of an increasingly dangerous threat posed by Islamist fighters. It was also tasked with the responsibility of safeguarding human rights, assisting efforts to maintain peace, and protecting people as part of its duty.
However, the country’s already precarious security situation has become even more precarious. There have been increasing complaints of human rights abuses committed by the armed forces, but the military administration has consistently prevented MINUSMA from conducting an investigation into these allegations.