Burkina Faso: UN coordinator "asked to leave the country" on Friday

The UN coordinator in Burkina Faso, the Italian Barbara Manzi, was declared “persona non grata” and “asked to leave the country” as of this Friday, announces a press release from the Burkinabe Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The press release, which does not specify the reason for this expulsion, underlines that Barbara Manzi is declared “Persona non grata” on the national territory, and “she is therefore requested to leave Burkina Faso today, December 23, 2022”.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Cooperation and Burkinabe Abroad “thanks the Office of the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System and Humanitarian Coordinator in Burkina Faso for its kind cooperation and renews its distinguished consideration”.

This decision comes a few days after the expulsion of two French citizens accused of espionage.

According to a diplomatic source in Ouagadougou, quoted by the media, this decision is justified by the fact that Manzi recently “requested and obtained the withdrawal of non-essential personnel from the (United Nations) system from Burkina”.

In addition to the request for the withdrawal of non-essential staff, Barbara Manzi is also accused of an “attempt to influence negatively” and of “interfering in the political affairs of Burkina”, according to the same source.

Burkina Faso has been ruled since the end of September by Captain Ibrahim Traoré, author of a military coup.

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