According to the media, Mali’s ruling junta has declared the head of the UN Human Rights Division in their country, Persona Non-Grata (PNG), and told him to leave the west African nation within 48 hours. According to the details, Mali Military rulers accused the UN official of involvement in subversive and destabilizing activities against Mali and having a biased view during the recent UN Security Council briefing regarding Mali.
The Republic of Mali has been embattled with jihadist militant Groups and communal violence in various parts of the country over the past decades. The resource-rich African nation faced foreign conspiracies along with political and economic instability most time in its history, while recurrent military coups remained instrumental in the economic depletion and frailty of democratic institutions in the country. Previously, the United Nations deployed UN Peace Keepers in Mali under MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali) in 2013, while France also deployed its troops under a bilateral arrangement with its former colony for a train and assist mission to help support Malian Security Forces to combat extremist violence. The reports suggest that over 75% of Malian territory is under the control of extremist groups that are massively involved in violence, and human rights abuses while the civilian population is totally at the mercy of armed groups and military commanders.
The trilateral efforts including UN Peace Keepers, French Special Forces along with Malian troops failed to realize peace despite multiple extensions in MINUSMA’s mandate in the past years, which led to frustration among the partners. The Malian military junta struck a deal with the Russian private contractor, the Wagner Group to support its military campaign against rebels, while France quickly pulled back its troops from Mali after Russia’s intervention in the African state. The UN Peace Keepers are still idling in violence-hit Mali with no significant achievement, whereas the host nation completely broke off with the UN contingent.
Presently, a renewed tussle had been prompted between Mali and US-led western nations who perceive the presence of the Russian Wagner Group as a major threat to their strategic interests in Africa. Although conflict-hit Mali had been an epicenter of violence against civilians and human rights abuses thought-out history, however, the western human rights campaign agaisnt Mali is unmatchable after Bamako forged a partnership with the Russian Private Contractor. On the other hand, the Malian military regime also took notice of western criticism of its policies and human rights issues by intensifying its diplomatic row agaisnt France and the UN mission in Mali for their noncooperation and alleged inference in domestic affairs.
Apparently, the Malian military junta failed to control jihadist violence and restore democracy over the past two years, yet it is facing political pressure and serious economic backlash in maintaining its grip on the country. Therefore, Military rulers launched a disinformation campaign to portray Russia and its Wagner Groups as saviour of the Malians and discredit the UN and the west by labeling them as hegemons and colonial powers. In fact, low-caliber people abuse high offices in arrogance and self-admiration. Although, the Malian dictator has reprimanded the UN human rights defender, however, he will ultimately feel regret over his action after his deposition from power.