Mali expels spokesperson of UN peacekeeping mission in row over tweets

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Mali is expelling the spokesman of the UN’s peacekeeping power within the nation, the overseas ministry stated on Wednesday, citing posts he made on Twitter a few diplomatic incident with Ivory Coast that has soured relations with the UN.

Olivier Salgado, spokesman for the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), has been given 72 hours to go away over “tendentious and unacceptable” posts he made on Twitter, the federal government stated in an announcement.

The expulsion comes amid mounting friction between Mali’s ruling navy and worldwide companions supporting the nation’s battle in opposition to jihadists.

Final week Mali introduced it was suspending all new rotations of the MINUSMA peacekeeping mission, together with these already scheduled, for “nationwide safety” causes.

The announcement got here simply days after the Malian authorities arrested 49 Ivorian troopers it later described as “mercenaries” intent on toppling the nation’s military-led authorities.

Ivory Coast stated the troopers had been despatched to supply a help function for MINUSMA, below a routine rotation, however Mali claimed they’d no mission orders or any authorisation to enter the nation.

The overseas ministry assertion accused Salgado of Twitter posts “declaring with none proof that the Malian authorities had been beforehand knowledgeable” of their arrival.

MINUSMA, it stated, was requested to supply proof to help Salgado’s assertions however had given no reply.

A pricey mission

The incident takes place in opposition to a backdrop of issues in Mali, certainly one of Africa’s poorest and most unstable international locations.

Hundreds of individuals have died and lots of of hundreds have been displaced in a jihadist marketing campaign that started in northern Mali in 2012 after which unfold to Niger and Burkina Faso three years later.

MINUSMA, launched in 2013, is among the UN’s greatest peacekeeping operations, with 17,609 troops, police, civilians and volunteers deployed as of April 2022, in keeping with the mission’s web site. 

It is usually one of the crucial harmful UN missions, with 275 fatalities from assaults, accidents or different causes, in keeping with the web site.

On Friday, Egypt, MINUSMA’s greatest single troop contributor, stated it will “briefly droop” its participation in operations after seven of its troops had been killed this yr.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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