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06.05.2019 Mali

Mali's New Health Minister Chided For "Defective Leadership" At UN Aids body

MAY 6, 2019 MALI

UNAIDS chief Michel Sidibe, whose tenure at the agency was marred by allegations of serious mismanagement, has been appointed health minister of his native Mali.

Sidibe had been scheduled to stand down in June, six months before the official end of his tenure, following widespread concern over his conduct in office. He took charge of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) in 2009.

UNAIDS's oversight body, the Programme Coordinating Board, commissioned an independent panel of experts to study the organisation.

The experts found that UNAIDS was "broken" due to "defective leadership".

The panel accused Sidibe of overseeing a work environment that tolerated sexual harassment and abuse, and where a "cult of personality" surrounding the executive director saw benefits doled out as favours by Sidibe and his cadre of top allies.

It also said Sidibe "accepted no responsibility" for anything that had gone wrong under his watch.

Sidibe's appointment as health minister comes as Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced a new government.

The previous executive resigned last month amid widespread protests over an upsurge of inter-communal violence in the country.