The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has explained his snub on Mali during this week’s West Africa tour.
Guteres visited Senegal, Niger and Nigeria in his annual Ramadan solidarity visits to nations.
He said that his itinerary was meant to reward those making progress in fighting terrorism.
“This visit was a reward to those that are doing better in relation to the fight against terrorism because this was my annual visit of solidarity with Ramadan and it is a visit in solidarity with victims of terrorism,” said Guterres.
Mali has the UN’s biggest peacekeeping contingent but relations between its military rulers and Western countries have deteriorated after two recent coups.
The junta has been accused of hiring hundreds of mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner group to help in its fight against jihadist groups.