The UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for Somalia Micheal Keating has said his relationship with the government and leadership of Somalia is mutual and based on transparency dismissing claims his office dictates to the Somali government.
In a wide ranging interview with Goobjoog News, Keating said he does not take sides with politicians but must be frank when things are not going in the right direction.
“You know I have very honest relationship with the government which they tell me what they think. I am trying to do my best to support Somalia and I think having an open and frank relationship is important.
Responding to what he thinks about his remarks to the UN Security Council late January concerning the sacking of Mogadishu mayor Thabit Mohamed and raid on homes of politicians by security forces, Keating noted his job called on him to be open about any developments happening in the country.
“I guess it’s my responsibility to encourage positive things that will help that happen but also be frank about those things that are really damaging my efforts to mobilize international political and financial support for Somalia,” said Keating.
“We are not telling Somalis what to do or how to do it but we are trying to do bring our global experience; our 50-60 years of experience working in Somalia and support the strengthening of Somali capacities to get things done but we are not dictating.”
On his evaluation of President Mohamed Farmaajo’s one year in office, Keating sounded upbeat lauding the government for what he termed as remarkable progress in several fronts such as leading the efforts against the drought which ravaged several parts of the country last year.
“A year ago we were worried that the hundreds of thousands of people would die of hunger and that did not happened and that is partly because of national ownership and leadership,” observed Keating. “I think the president take a lot of credit for that. He declared a state of natural disaster soon after he became a president and that helped us raise the money and provide the support that was needed.”
The launch of the National Development Plan and the National Security Architecture which of course still needs to be implemented but there was a very good development, noted Keating.
The UN chief also pointed to the relationship between the President and the Prime Minister. “Government was appointed in April and the partnership between the prime minister and the president is strong. So that is good.”