JOHANNESBURG, January 7 – The UN Security Council (UNSC) is expecting full cooperation between Somalia and the UN following the expulsion of South African diplomat Nicholas Haysom, the head of the UN Assistant Mission in Somalia (Unsom), over his criticism of the Somali authorities and security forces.
Over the weekend in a unanimous statement the UNSC expressed regret over Haysom being declared persona non grata on January 1, following an earlier statement released by UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, in which he agreed to appoint a new UN envoy to Somalia to replace Haysom.
While members of the UNSC were unanimous in the statement’s release China asked for more time to add to the text, saying the council respected Somalia’s “sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity”.
Guterres’ decision to appoint a new envoy to Somalia followed two telephone attempts he made to Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed urging him to reverse the expulsion decision but the Somali president said Haysom would not be welcomed back.
Haysom, a lawyer and experienced diplomat, was ordered to leave after he questioned the government’s arrest of an Al Shabaab defector who ran for election. He also criticised what he alleged was excessive force used by Somali security forces against civilians.
Mogadishu hit back saying that while it appreciated the work the UN was doing, it considered Haysom’s comments an unacceptable interference in Somalia’s sovereign affairs.
The council said that 2019 is expected to be a critical year for Somalia and has called on its leaders to work together to advance political and security reforms.
– African News Agency (ANA)