Burundi on Thursday confirmed that it had expelled the head of the World Health Organisation in its country and three others.
The action comes six days before a presidential election scheduled to take place on May 20.
The country’s Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister, Bernard Ntahiraja, confirmed that the country head of WHO, Walter Kazadi Mulombo, and the other three officials were on May 12 declared as “persona non grata” and told to leave by latest Friday.
The statement from the foreign ministry failed to give reasons.
“Late yesterday afternoon, I was made aware through a note verbale about this decision of the government of Burundi which has asked our WHO representative and three other persons, one of whom is a consultant to leave the country immediately,” WHO Africa Director, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, informed journalists on Thursday.
“We are in communication with the government of Burundi to clarify and understand the reasoning behind this decision they have taken.
“We are in the meantime working to organise the departure of our staff,” Moeti added.
A source in the country’s government told AFP that, “They are expelled and the health minister has totally excluded WHO, accusing it of unacceptable interference in its management of the Coronavirus.”