Head of embattled UNAIDS to leave post immediately

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. AIDS agency says its executive director is leaving the post immediately, following allegations he mishandled sexual assault claims at the agency.

UNAIDS said Michel Sidibe will become health minister in his native Mali “with immediate effect.” He will be replaced by his Swedish deputy, Gunilla Carlsson, on a temporary basis.

Sidibe had already been set to leave the post in June, six months before the scheduled end to his tenure. He announced the early exit after an internal investigation made public late last year faulted “defective leadership” at UNAIDS. He has led the agency since 2009.

Wednesday’s announcement follows allegations by whistleblower Marina Brostrom that Sidibe mishandled her claims of sexual assault by Luis Loures, a former top UNAIDS official.

Loures has denied the allegations.

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