from RUDD KONTE in Bamako, Mali
BAMAKO, (CAJ News) – THE expulsion of a spokesperson for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA) is the latest dishonour for the crisis-plagued country.
Olivier Salgado was on Wednesday given 72 hours to leave the country, apparently for social media posts attributed to him, regarding the case of the 49 Ivorian soldiers arrested in Mali on July 10.
Mali arrested the officers under charges of being mercenaries.
In a tweet, Salgado noted the soldiers had been deployed for several years in Mali as part of logistical support on behalf of one of MINUSMA contingents.
This apparently angered the military administration of Colonel Assimi Goïta, in power since 2021 after a coup that ousted Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.
MINUSMA confirmed the expulsion of its spokesperson.
“The Mission takes note of this decision which it deeply regrets,” it stated.
“MINUSMA will continue to work to implement its mandate in support of peace and security in Mali.”
Mali has been in crisis following a series of coups in the past two years.
MINUSMA was created in 2013 to assist the West African nation overcome with an Islamist uprising.
Some 275 peacekeepers have been killed, placing it among the most dangerous terrains for the Blue Helmets.
– CAJ News