United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres letter to UN staff in Somalia (04.01.2019)

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Somalia (04.01.2019)

The Secretary-General remains strongly committed to assisting Somalia in its efforts to achieve peace, stability and prosperity for all.

NEW YORK, United States of America, January 4, 2019 –  The Secretary-General deeply regrets the decision of the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia to declare the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), Nicholas Haysom, persona non grata.

The Secretary-General has full confidence in Mr. Haysom, an experienced and respected international civil servant who has distinguished himself in numerous senior leadership roles, in the field and at UN Headquarters.

The doctrine of persona non grata does not apply to, or in respect of, United Nations personnel.  As described in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the doctrine applies to diplomatic agents who are accredited by one State to another in the context of their bilateral relations.  The United Nations is not a State and its personnel are not accredited to the States where they are deployed, but work under the sole responsibility of the Secretary-General.

At the same time the Secretary-General is totally committed to ensuring that the needs of the Somali people are at the forefront of the work of the United Nations in Somalia. UNSOM needs to be able to carry out in the most effective manner its mandate to support the country.  Therefore, he intends to appoint in due course a new Special Representative for Somalia and Head of UNSOM.

The Secretary-General remains strongly committed to assisting Somalia in its efforts to achieve peace, stability and prosperity for all.

‘Milestones are clear’ for ‘significant progress’ in Somalia during 2019, Security Council hears (04.01.2019)

Nicholas Haysom commended the Office of the Prime Minister “for leading Government efforts to tackle corruption”, and praised improvements in public financial management.

NEW YORK, United States of America, January 4, 2019 – Somali Government efforts to build a lasting peace through political reform and transformation have progressed along a “positive trajectory” but everyone involved in the process needs to “pull in the same direction”, the UN Special Representative in the country told the Security Council on Thursday.

Nicholas Haysom commended the Office of the Prime Minister “for leading Government efforts to tackle corruption”, and praised improvements in public financial management which had led to a recorded surplus of $8 million last September.

But turning to Somalia’s complex “Roadmap on Inclusive Politics” reform process, he said that a “key milestone” had been missed in not meeting the December deadline for a draft new Electoral Law. Despite that, the National Independent Electoral Commission has made progress with voter registration planning, and 35 political parties have been officially registered.

“Women’s meaningful participation” in the Constitutional Review process, and other draft national agreements on justice, mineral resource-sharing, “allocation of powers and fiscal federalism” was essential, said the top UN official from South Africa, who also heads the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia, UNSOM.

Overshadowing progress there however, he said, was a continuing stalemate between the leaders of central Government, and Somalia’s Member States, which “continues to impede progress in defining the federal model, building institutions of state, and in the implementation of the National Security Architecture”.

There had been encouraging steps taken to “restore relations” by the President and Prime Minister, and a committee established to work with the Upper House of parliamentary representatives, Mr. Haysom told Council members.

Risk that ‘complexity shifts to conflict’

The Special Representative noted that “politics is complex in any nation, but in one that is still establishing its norms, institutional parameters” and debating how they will work for the common good “there is a risk that complexity shifts to conflict”.

This had proved the case in the election process for South West State, where allegations of interference by the Federal Government and violence which erupted following the arrest of a candidate who was a former al-Shabaab deputy-leader, “marred the process and does not bode well for upcoming” elections, said Mr. Haysom.

He said it was regrettable that 15 people, including a regional assembly member had lost their lives, adding that the detention of the former extremist group leader, could deter others from abandoning terrorist violence, for the ballot box.

Al-Shabaab still the ‘biggest source of insecurity’

Al-Shabaab continues to be “the biggest source of insecurity in Somalia” said Mr. Haysom, welcoming the Government’s condemnation of the group’s attack on New Year’s Day against the UN’s headquarters in the Somali capital, which injured three staff members.

Thanks to the African Union’s AMISOM troops, and Government forces, conventional attacks have been largely stymied he said, with Al-Shabaab now relying on assassinations and improvised explosives, but “indiscriminate attacks” were still a constant threat.

He added that the UN had “continued to support conflict prevention and conflict resolution efforts in several parts of the country in collaboration with our partners”, said the top official.

Humanitarian needs remain high, with 4.2 million requiring assistance and protection, almost two-thirds of them children. “Around 1.5 million are severely food insecure at crisis or emergency levels. Around 2.6 million people are internally-displaced” he said.

Finally, he added, respect of human rights in the country and international humanitarian law, and the protection of civilians caught up in violence, “remains key for Somalia’s transition and sustainable peace”.

For more on this story including remarks made by the head of AMISOM, and the Somali Ambassador to the UN, go to our UN Meetings Coverage here.

Somalia: Another Perfect Storm – The Senate distance themselves from the Lower House!

Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.” Alexandre Dumas

Today, it is now revealed, that the Senate has written a letter, where they have formally suspended their relations with the Lower House. This is yet another step-back, as the politicians are internally conflicted. This is happening as Federal Government of Somalia, Villa Somalia and the Prime Minister are squabbling with the United Nations Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). The aftermath of the actions done in December 2018 is really paying off.

The FGS and Villa Somalia are really playing high stakes putting the UN Representative for Somalia as Person Non-Grata. They are now seeing the Member States and Somaliland distancing themselves again with the FGS/Villa Somalia. As that is happening, now the Senate and Lower House have distanced themselves. It is surely some back-room play.

Just like it was with the rounds of impeachment of the President Farmaajo and later it wasn’t. This is again another political game made by the politicians. Who knows for what reasons, if they are all playing for the guards, as they are reacting because of the UN representative. If not, it is because they want to show independence and being sovereign. However, the funding of the FGS and Member States are happening mostly from abroad. Meaning, the relationship with UN and UNSOM is vital, as they are paying salaries and funding government projects.

We are seeing more and more internal squabble, where both Member States, Somaliland, now the Chambers of Parliament is also creating an issue. That the Senate have suspended their operations and work together with the Lower House. These actions are happening within a span of 48 hours.

There is yet another dispute, another layer of trouble. Clearly, the Villa Somalia have to clear the air, if they are having proper leadership. As the fragile ways of today and yesterday, is not showing greatness, but more weakness. The President and Prime Minister has react and show strength. They have to take responsibility and finds way to narrow the differences. That they care about the situation and explain it. Because right now, the FGS, Villa Somalia and all parties looks like whirlwind. Peace.

UN: Aid agencies estimate that 4.2 million people in Somalia will need of humanitarian assistance and protection in 2019 (03.01.2019)

Somalia: South West Senators – Press Release (03.01.2019)

Somalia: National Salvation Caucus (NSC) – Press Release (02.01.2019)

Somalia: AU Special Representative condems yesterday’s attack on AMISOM basecamp in Mogadishu (02.01.2019)

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the attacks against the United Nations compound in Somalia (02.01.2019)

He urges the Somali authorities to investigate the attacks and swiftly bring those responsible to justice.

NEW YORK, United States of America, January 2, 2019 –  The Secretary-General strongly condemns today’s attacks against the United Nations compound in Mogadishu. He wishes a speedy recovery to the injured colleagues.

The Secretary-General recalls that intentionally directing armed attacks against United Nations personnel may constitute a violation of international humanitarian law. He urges the Somali authorities to investigate the attacks and swiftly bring those responsible to justice.

The Secretary-General reaffirms that such acts will not diminish the strong resolve of the United Nations to continue supporting the people and Government of Somalia in their efforts to build peace and stability in the country.

Somalia: UN Representative Haysom is now a Person Non-Grata!

You know you got a special place in the world, when your the Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). However, the man with role, Nicholas Haysom, have gotten himself in a pickle. He is person non-grata by the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) or Villa Somalia. Meaning, the UN Representative in Somalia isn’t allowed to enter or be in Somalia. That is what you can say is rich. Very rich.

This coming the very day, when the UNSOM statement says this:

““Today’s indirect fire attack on the main UN compound in Mogadishu may amount to a violation of international humanitarian law, and I deplore this unwarranted act of aggression against our personnel,” said Mr. Haysom. “No political agenda can be served through violence that deliberately targets staff members of international organizations who are supporting the consolidation of peace and the strengthening of governing institutions in Somalia. I wish our wounded colleagues a full recovery from their injuries.” (UNSOM, 01.01.2019).

That after a bomb or grenades launched at the UN Headquarters in Mogadishu. Clearly, the UN had to answer and explain what happen. Certainly the UN Representative hit a nerve. But their might also be questions about him. As on the 30th December 2018, the same man sent a letter to the Minister of Internal Security of Somalia. Where he answers if any UN Personnel was involved in the arrest of Muktar Rowbow on the 13th December 2018.

Clearly, the UN Representative knows how to strike the nerves of Villa Somalia. He knows how to push the buttons and also scratch the itches there. That is why, instead of answering his questions of December 2018. They are now suspending him and making it impossible for the UN Representative to work within the Federal Republic of Somalia. That is what FGS is doing.

This is happening on the same day, there is direct attempt and attack of the UN Headquarters in Mogadishu These things seems to be connected and wouldn’t happen separately. As they are happening within short time span. This is a retaliation against his questions and his words towards the FGS.

If this is a cheap shot for popularity, it might move the patriotic people at first, but the donor-funding, the support of AMISOM and the other missions might dwindle. As the Foreign Donors cannot trust a government, who cannot be questioned for their actions. This is poor planning and leadership. That might be costly in the long-run. They are doing the short-con, without considering the long-con.

Haysom might trigger many people with his letters and his questions, but just answer them. If your not afraid of them. But seemingly, there is something more to give, as the FGS has banished him. Peace.