Politics, Africa

UN regrets Somalia’s decision to expel top diplomat

Last week, the Somali government declared senior UN official a persona non grata

07.01.2019
UN regrets Somalia’s decision to expel top diplomat

By Hassan Isilow

JOHANNESBURG

The United Nations Security Council has said it expects full cooperation between Somalia and the United Nations; days after the horn of Africa country expelled a top UN diplomat.

A statement released Sunday, said the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had expressed his deep regret on Friday following the decision by the Somali government to expel his special representative Nicholas Haysom.

“The members of the Security Council underlined that 2019 would be a critical year for Somalia, and called on its leaders to work together to advance political and security reform,” the statement said.

The communiqué further said despite the Security Council regrets Somalia’s decision, it still supports the international community’s efforts for peace in Somalia, but expects “full cooperation between Somalia and the United Nations,’’

The statement quotes Guterres saying “in the interests of putting the Somali people, and the work of UN mission in Somalia, he would be appointing a new Special Representative and head of mission, in due course"

Last week, the Somali government declared veteran South African lawyer and senior UN official Haysom, persona non grata for allegedly interfering in the country’s internal affairs.

Haysom is alleged to have questioned why the government was still holding a former commander of the al-Shabab insurgent group Mukhtar Robow who defected and was running for public office.

Supporters of Robow protested in the South West State of Somalia leading to the death of 15 people.

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