UN chief António Guterres to appoint new diplomat to Somalia

The UN Secretary-General said on Friday he “deeply regrets” the Somali Government’s decision to expel his Special Representative in the country, adding that he had “full confidence” in Nicholas Haysom’s abilities and track record as an international civil servant.

Mr. Haysom was accused of violating diplomatic rules and overstepping his authority by the Government, in questioning the legal basis for the arrest of a former al-Shabab deputy leader early last month, who was standing for election in South West state.

UN chief António Guterres said in a statement on Tuesday issued by his Deputy Spokesperson on Friday that any declaration Mr. Haysom was persona non grata in Somalia, does not accord with diplomatic rules. “The doctrine of persona non grata does not apply to, or in respect of, United Nations personnel,” he said.

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.”

Mr. Guterres said he was “totally committed to ensuring that the needs of the Somali people are at the forefront of the work of the United Nations in Somalia”, adding that the UN support mission there, UNSOM, “needs to be able to carry out in the most effective manner its mandate to support the country.”

He said that he would therefore 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” his statement concluded.

 

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