The UN secretary general, António Guterres, has explained his snub on Mali during this week’s West Africa tour.
Mr. Guterres visited Senegal, Niger, and Nigeria in his annual Ramadan solidarity visits to nations.
He told the BBC that his itinerary for the West Africa Tour was meant to reward those making progress in fighting terrorism.
Mr. Guterres said “this visit is a reward to those that are doing better in relation to the fight against terrorism because this is my annual visit of solidarity with Ramadan and it is a visit in solidarity with victims of terrorism”, he said.
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.