Somalia orders top UN official to leave over ‘interference’

Nicholas Haysom, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, listens to a question during a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan February 14, 2016. The Somalia government has ordered the top UN official in the country to leave. PHOTO | REUTERS
Nicholas Haysom, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, listens to a question during a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan February 14, 2016. The Somalia government has ordered the top UN official in the country to leave. PHOTO | REUTERS 

Somalia orders top U.N. official to leave

Somalia has kicked out the country’s top United Nations official in a decision likely to harm relations with foreign powers backing government attempts to restore stability after decades of turmoil.

  • Mogadishu accuses Nicholas Haysom of interfering with national sovereignty days after he raised concerns about the actions of UN-supported Somali security forces.
  • There was no immediate comment from the UN mission in the volatile country.
  • The United Nations is a major backer of Somalia, which is trying to claw its way out of the embers of the civil war that engulfed it in 1991.

|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA|AIWA! NO!|Somalia’s government has ordered the top United Nations official in the country to leave, accusing him of interfering with national sovereignty days after he raised concerns about the actions of UN-supported Somali security forces.

The foreign affairs ministry said in a statement late on Tuesday that Nicholas Haysom, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, “is not required and cannot work in this country”, effectively declaring the official persona non grata.

“The decision comes after he openly breached the appropriate conduct of the UN office in Somalia,” the statement read.

There was no immediate comment from the UN mission in the volatile, impoverished country.

The United Nations is a major backer of Somalia, which is trying to claw its way out of the embers of the civil war that engulfed it in 1991, when clan warlords overthrew a dictator and then turned on each other.

The government’s move comes after Haysom sent a letter dated December 30 to the interior security minister expressing concern over “the alleged involvement of UN-supported Somali security forces in the arrest of Mukhtar Robow on 13 December, the deaths of 15 civilians…on 13, 14, and 15 December…and the arrest of approximately 300 people involved in the demonstrations on 13, 14, and 15 December”.

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