UN Mission spokesperson expelled from Mali

The Malian authorities ordered on Wednesday 20 July the expulsion of the spokesman of the UN Mission in Mali (Minusma), blaming him for “unacceptable information” on the case of 49 Ivorian soldiers detained for over a week in Bamako, according to an official statement.
The Malian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced on Wednesday 20 July that it was inviting “Mr Olivier Salgado, spokesperson for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (Minusma), to leave the country within 72 hours.
This measure follows “the series of biased and unacceptable publications by the person concerned” on the social network Twitter, for having declared “without any proof that the Malian authorities had been previously informed of the arrival of 49 Ivorian soldiers by civilian flight” on 10 July 2022, the statement said.
The statement also stressed the ministry’s “availability” to maintain dialogue and continue cooperation with “all its international partners, including the UNMISMA”.
Asked to provide evidence or to rectify his remarks, he refused, according to the Malian Foreign Ministry’s statement. No comment from the Minusma side, but an official of the mission stressed that Olivier Salgado “has always worked with great professionalism”.
The Franco-Belgian is one of the best known faces of the UN representation in Mali. Present in the country since the creation of the Mission 9 years ago, he was unavoidable. He has issued hundreds of press releases, led numerous press conferences and organised many field trips with journalists.
In New York, UN spokesman Farhan Haq reacted. The UN “deeply regrets” this decision and is trying to clarify the request of the Malian authorities.

About Geraldine Boechat 2735 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia