5 May 2017

Tanzania: UN Mum On Expulsion of UNDP Boss

The United Nations is still silent on the expulsion from Tanzania of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director Awa Dabo.

Ms Dabo was deported by the government last month over what the Foreign ministry said was sour relations with her subordinates at the UNDP office in Dar es Salaam. The issue was raised on Tuesday during a daily briefing by UN secretary-general's spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, who failed to state the reason behind Ms Dabo's expulsion. It was the third time the issue was raised during the daily briefing.

Asked whether the UN was trying to establish the reasons behind Ms Dabo's expulsion, Ms Dujarric said: "I would love to be able to answer your questions, but I don't have anything for you on that."

The government's explanation on the decision to expel a top UN diplomat from the country has left unanswered questions and triggered fierce criticism from commentators.

A statement from the Foreign ministry issued shortly after Ms Dabo's deportation indicated that her stay was untenable over her management and leadership which affected UNDP work in Tanzania.

According to the government, the diplomat's continued stay in Tanzania would have negatively impacted on the UNDP mission to help develop the country. However, there are hints of a fallout between the government and the UNDP office that may have nothing to do with employee relations.

The statement says: "After assurance that she has left the country, the government through the ministry of Foreign Affairs has called on UNDP to let its workers know that their priority is to work with the government to fulfil its 2025 development vision and meet the sustainable development goals as expounded in the 2030 UN development agenda."

Ms Dabo, a Gambian national, was posted to the UN agency's station in Dar es Salaam towards the end of 2015.


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