“I deeply remorse the choice by the Malian authorities to declare my consultant, Guillaume Ngefa, as persona non grata and to order him to go away the nation in 48 hours,” Volker Türk mentioned.
Mr. Ngefa, Director of the Human Rights Division of the UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and Consultant of the Excessive Commissioner in Mali, had been declared persona non grata in an announcement Malian authorities made on Sunday. Mr. Ngefa was already exterior Mali when the choice was introduced.
Troubled by intimidation and harassment his consultant has lately confronted on social media platforms, Mr. Türk, head of OHCHR, mentioned UN employees “mustn’t ever be threatened or sanctioned for doing their work”, which relies on the founding Constitution and rules of the United Nations.
The UN has lengthy maintained that the doctrine of persona non grata will not be relevant to its personnel. It’s opposite to the obligations of Member States below the UN Charter, together with these in regards to the privileges and immunities of the UN and its employees.
‘Integral to peacekeeping’
“Human rights are integral to peacekeeping,” Mr. Türk careworn. “I urge the authorities to create a respectful, secure and enabling surroundings for human rights work in Mali, which is extra essential than ever within the present context.”
He additionally urged Malian authorities to make sure higher respect for and safety of human rights defenders.
“Nobody ought to face reprisals for talking out on human rights points,” he mentioned.
Mali is coming into the eleventh yr of a safety disaster. MINUSMA was established in 2013 following insecurity within the north and a failed army coup by Islamist rebels, who nonetheless maintain sway throughout a lot of the north and centre of the nation.
Briefing the Security Council on the finish of final month, UN Particular Consultant and Head of MINUSMA El-Ghassim Wane had cautioned that stabilizing Mali is essential for the nation and the area.
Unbiased UN skilled go to
The choice to expel Mr. Ngefa comes as an impartial UN skilled on the state of affairs of human rights in Mali is scheduled to conduct an official visit from 6 to 17 February forward of presenting an annual report back to the Human Rights Council in March.