Burkina Faso Residents during a protest
The UN coordinator in Burkina Faso, Italian Barbara Manzi, has been declared "persona non grata" and "asked to leave the country" on Friday, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"Ms Barbara Manzi, the resident coordinator of the United Nations system, is declared persona non grata on the territory of Burkina Faso.
"She is therefore requested to leave Burkina Faso today, December 23, 2022," the statement said without giving any official reason for the expulsion.
According to a diplomatic source, the expulsion is justified by the fact that Ms Manzi recently "requested and obtained the withdrawal of non-essential personnel of the (UN) system from Burkina Faso".
A decision that "risks placing the country in a delicate situation, at a time when Burkina Faso is in dire need of partners to face the security and humanitarian crisis", the source continued.
Another diplomatic source told AFP that a "long list of recriminations" have led "Burkina Faso diplomacy to take its responsibilities".
According to this source, Manzi is accused of "attempting to influence adversely" and "interfering in the political affairs of Burkina" in addition to the request for the evacuation of non-essential employees.
The deportation comes just a few days after the authorities expelled two French citizens who worked for a Burkinabe firm and were accused of being spies.
Captain Ibrahim Traoré, the perpetrator of the second military coup in eight months, has controlled Burkina Faso since the end of September.
Its Prime Minister, Apollinaire Kyélem de Tembela, had planned in mid-November to "diversify cooperation relations until we discover the proper formula for the interests of Burkina Faso.
He also stated that "certain allies" had "not always been faithful," albeit he did not name any nations.
Burkina Faso's neighbour, Mali, removed Olivier Salgado, the spokesperson for the United Nations Mission in Mali (Minusma), in July for publishing "inappropriate information" the day following the arrest of 49 Ivorian troops in Bamako, according to the junta.