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sabato, Luglio 13, 2024

Burkina Faso expelled top UN official, Italian citizen Barbara Manzi

OUAGADOUGOU, DECEMBER 24 – Burkina Faso’s government expelled the top U.N. official in the country on Friday, asking her to leave immediately, officials said.

Barbara Manzi, the United Nations’ resident and humanitarian coordinator in the West African nation, was declared ‘persona non grata’, the foreign affairs ministry said in a statement.

While no reason was given in the statement for her expulsion, foreign minister Olivia Rouamba said on state television Friday that Manzi had raised the alarm about insecurity in the capital, Ouagadougou, without providing evidence. Furthermore, said Rouamba, she unilaterally disposed for some UN personnel and their families to leave the country.

Guterres confirmed his full confidence

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “learned with regret” about Burkina Faso’s decision and expressed “full confidence … in Ms Manzi’s commitment and professionalism”, his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement on Saturday.

“The doctrine of persona non grata does not apply to United Nations officials,” he added: “Only the Secretary-General … has the authority to decide, after careful investigation, with respect to the withdrawal of any United Nations official.”

Appointed in August 2021, Ms. Manzi has long-standing United Nations experience in development and complex settings, focusing on planning and delivering services to people. Within the Organization, she most recently served as Resident Coordinator in Djibouti, after holding other leadership positions, including Head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Ukraine, Iraq, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. She also served with the Organization in the southern Africa region, as well as in Angola, Central African Republic, Ethiopia and Haiti.

Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms. Manzi worked in the private sector and collaborated with non-governmental organizations, think tanks and universities on development, disaster management and reconstruction, as well as peace building initiatives.

She holds a master’s degree in post-war reconstruction and development studies from the University of York in the UK, and a master’s degree in architecture from the Universita’ degli Studi di Firenze in Italy. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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