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Recalled EU Ambassador leaves

RECALLED—Paesen (centre)—File photo

The recalled European Union (EU) Ambassador to Malawi, Sandra Paesen, has finally left the country.

Paesen left the country on Friday after reportedly being given seven days to leave the country and report to EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

Writing on her Twitter timeline Thursday night ahead of the trip, Paesen did not indicate if she would come back to Malawi or not.

“Flying out tomorrow for a family holiday. I wish everyone a great end of the year! May there be peace, love and mutual understanding,” she said.

Paesen then wished President Peter Mutharika, the government of Malawi, United Kingdom Ambassador to Malawi Holly Tett and German Ambassador Jurgen Borsch Merry Christmas.

Unconfirmed reports say Paesen was given seven days to leave the country after the Malawi Government complained of her conduct when she was seen taking part in the demonstrations denouncing alleged rape and other forms of sexual harassment some police officers allegedly inflicted on women in Msundwe, M’bwatalika and Mpingu in Lilongwe.

In an earlier interview, Paesen declined to comment on the matter saying EU decisions on the staffing of its delegations are handled by European External Action Service (EEAS).

“The EEAS does not comment on any ongoing management processes, but always informs host country authorities—through official channels—when and if decisions are taken affecting the Staffing of its delegations and Missions,” she said.

She, however, said EU appreciates the importance of the relationship with Malawi.

“The EU attaches the highest importance to its relationship with Malawi, based on an equal partnership and intensive co-operation at bilateral, regional and global level. The EU is ambitious for the further deepening of relations based on our long diplomatic association,” Paesen said.

Last week, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Francis Kasaila, declined to comment on the matter saying The Daily Times should have spoken to the Ambassador.

But Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on International Relations, Patrick Bandawe, said he was shocked by the immediate recall of the Ambassador who he described as one of the most dedicated Ambassadors the country has had.

Paesen presented her letters of credence to President Peter Mutharika at Kamuzu Palace in October 2018.

She was appointed as Head of the EU Delegation from Uganda where she served as the Head of the Political, Press and Information Section in the EU Delegation to Uganda.

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