Mali’s diplomatic chief accuses of “actions inconsistent with his diplomat status.”The Representative of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has 72 hours left “to leave the national territory,” according to a statement from the Malian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which said an official notification was sent to him Monday morning.
The diplomat from Burkina Faso, who has been posted in Bamako for more than two years, was declared “persona non grata” after several warnings from the Malian authorities and from the hierarchy of his own office, the statement said.
“I think that the person involved has engaged with groups, individuals from civil society, as well as from the political world or even the world of the press and who undertake activities hostile to the transition. The authorities in place have a duty to assume their responsibilities,” Abdoulaye Diop, Mali’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation explained.
Accused of “destabilizing the transition”
Mr. Diop added that Mali is a sovereign country: “We believe that at a certain point, if this person does not understand the limits of his mission that he has exceeded, it is the duty of the authorities in place to take responsibility.”
However, the head of Mali’s diplomacy “reiterates the availability of his government to maintain dialogue with ECOWAS and to work together for the success of the transition.”
The expulsion of Hamidou Boly, known for his outspokenness, comes amid tense diplomatic relations between Mali and the regional organization.
After two successive putsches in August 2020 and May 2021, Mali’s leading junta is behind in the electoral process that was expected to lead to the handover of power to civilians in less than four months.
Respect for the electoral calendar seems difficult to envisage after Malian minister Abdoulaye Diop, on a visit to Rabat, Morocco on October 11, argued that “the presidential and legislative elections of February 27, 2022, might not be held if the security challenges are not addressed.
This position contrasts sharply with the will of ECOWAS.
The regional grouping demands that elections be held on the date set in the transition charter.