Benin ordered the European Union ambassador Oliver Netten to leave the country by December 1 accusing him of engaging in what it termed as “subversive” activities in the country.
Government spokesman Alain Orounla, who spoke at a press briefing on Wednesday, told journalists that bilateral cooperation has been hampered by Netten’s alleged activities.
“An ambassador’s functions presuppose an obligation of courtesy towards the authorities of the host country. Respect for this obligation should be mutual,” Orounla said.
A senior diplomat, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, accused Netten of interfering too much in domestic affairs and constantly calling on civil society to hold protests against the government.
The diplomat divulged that Netten, a German envoy, had received a number of warnings from Benin’s foreign minister over his alleged activities.
The order for Netten to leave Benin was confirmed by a spokeswoman for the EU in Brussels, who said the order was communicated to the EU on November 20.
The spokeswoman added that the bloc had demanded clarification on the specific reasons for Benin’s decision but had not yet received any response on the same.
Benin, regarded as one of West Africa’s politically stable democracies, has been hit by a wave of protests following controversial parliamentary elections in April.