Fri. Sep 29th, 2023

The Malian interim government recently declared Guillaume Ngefa-Atondoko Andali, the head of the U.N. peacekeeping mission’s human rights division, persona non grata. Andali has been given a deadline of 48 hours to leave the country. The decision to expel Andali was made due to his allegedly biased choice of civil society witnesses for U.N. Security Council briefings on Mali. The most recent briefing was held on January 27.

The situation in Mali has been under intense scrutiny lately, as the country’s authorities have been facing pressure for alleged human rights violations and abuses. Reports suggest that these violations and abuses were committed by the Malian armed forces in partnership with the Russian private military contractor, Wagner Group. In response to these reports, U.N. experts called for an independent investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both forces.

The Malian government, which took power in a 2021 military coup, recently released a statement pushing back against some of the U.N.’s allegations. In this statement, the authorities emphasized their commitment to respecting human rights in accordance with international and national law. However, the Malian government’s decision to expel Andali raises questions about their willingness to work with the international community to address the human rights situation in the country.

The U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA, has not yet responded to the recent developments. Andali himself could not be reached for comment. The situation in Mali remains fluid, and it is unclear how this latest development will impact the peacekeeping mission and the human rights situation in the country.

The expulsion of Andali highlights the tensions between the international community and the Malian government. The international community’s concerns about human rights violations in the country must be taken seriously and addressed in a transparent and accountable manner. The U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali has a critical role to play in promoting peace and stability in the country, and it is important that all parties work together to address the ongoing human rights challenges in the region.

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