The United Nations says it deplores the decision by the junta in Mali to expel Guillaume Ngefa, its human rights official in the country, APA can report on Wednesday.On 5 February, the transitional government in Mali declared Negafa persona non grata in his capacity as the Director of the Human Rights Division of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Although he was not in Mali when the order was made, Ngefa was given 48 hours to pack out of the country.
The UN claimed he has been the target of harassment and threats over his work in Mali, a country beset by conflict.
”In the context of the political transition towards a return to constitutional order in Mali, the Secretary-General underscores the critical need for the Malian authorities to protect human rights including in particular freedom of expression, which is crucial for the functioning of a democratic society” a statement from the UN said.
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was quoted as expressing ”full confidence in MINUSMA and the commitment and professionalism of its personnel to implement the mission’s mandate to support Mali and its people, including in the promotion and protection of human rights”.
According to the UN scribe, the persona non grata doctrine does not apply to United Nations personnel and runs contrary to the legal framework applicable to the same organisation, including with respect to obligations under the Charter of the UN and those concerning the privileges and immunities of the UN and its personnel.