NEW YEAR: Somalia ‘boots out’ UN country chief

Government accuses Nicholas Haysom of breach of diplomatic rules and violation of country's independence

In an unprecedented move, Somali government Tuesday evening ‘kicked out’ newly appointed UN chief in the country Nicholas Haysom accusing him of violation of diplomatic rules on UN engagement with member states barely 24 hours after Haysom demanded explanations from the government over arrest of Mukhtar Robow and civilian killings ahead of the presidential polls in South West last month.

The country’s foreign ministry issued a statement Tuesday evening also accusing him of ‘violating the independence of Somalia.’

“On the basis of international diplomatic relations, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Haysom cannot work on behalf of the UN Secretary General,” the statement read in part.

Coming barely few hours after seven mortar shells hit the UN compound in Mogadishu injuring staff, the statement marked a new low in relations between Haysom and Villa Somalia in what could be a battle of uncertainties as 2019 begins.

RATTLE A SNAKE

But in what sounded like a sign of things to come, National Security Advisor Abdisaid Ali sent out a statement via Twitter suggesting an upcoming backlash from Villa Somalia.

“If you rattle a snake, you must be prepared to be bitten by it.” John Michuki (the late internal security minister—Kenya)” said Ali.  The statement was attributed to former Kenyan Internal Security Minister in 2006 in defense of government’s raid on the Standard Media Group.

In a hard-hitting letter addressed to internal security minister Mohamed Islow at the close of 2018, Haysom pointed fingers at the government for what he termed as violations of human rights, alleged killings of civilians by security forces and also demanded to know the role of AMISOM in the arrest of former presidential candidate and ex-Shabaab deputy Mukhtar Robow.

Haysom said the arrest of Robow ‘may amount to serious crimes under Somali law’. The UN chief also put to task the government to explain why there have been no charges filed against Robow. In addition, Haysom demanded the government explains on what terms the government granted Robow amnesty.

“The terms and conditions for the amnesty granted to Mukhtar Robow are unknown, and his arrest on the grounds that he has not completed the terms of his rehabilitation may amount to an arbitrary arrest,” Haysom said.

Meanwhile, the EU, Germany and the UK suspended support to the South West state police under the Joint Police Programme (JPP) over the development in the lead up to the December 19 elections which resulted in the death of 15 people among them a state MP.

“Given the nature of these concerns, it is with regret we have taken the difficult decision to

suspend our support to the police in South West State for the time being and have instructed UNOPS , as the JPP fund manager, accordingly,” a letter signed by envoys of Germany, UK, and EU dated December 21 read in part.

Haysom, an appointee of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres started duty in Somalia at the beginning of October and already ran into an ongoing row between the Federal Government and Federal Member States. His first assignment was a whirlwind tour of mediation in the federal states.

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