‘Open, cordial, and frank discussions’ held over future Somalia-UN relationship
Discussions described in a joint statement as “open, cordial and frank”, took place on Wednesday, between Somalia’s top two politicians and the UN political and peacebuilding affairs chief, in the capital Mogadishu.
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, welcomed top UN official Rosemary DiCarlo for talks, some four weeks after the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) took the decision to expel the UN’s most senior representative in the country, Nichoas Haysom, declaring him persona non grata.
The Government accused the veteran South African official and former lawyer for Nelson Mandela, of interfering in the “internal affairs” of Somalia, exceeding his mandate as UN Special Envoy to the country, after he criticized Government treatment of a former Al-Shabaab leader, who was running for state-wide office.
UN chief Antonio Guterres said he deeply regretted Somalia’s decision, expressing his “full confidence” in the Special Envoy, a stance which was backed by the UN Security Council.
In a joint statement from the Government and UN Mission in the country, UNSOM, the top Somali leaders and Ms. DiCarlo committed to “strengthen the relationship” between the UN and the Government, and the three “discussed practical measures for the FGS and the United Nations to work more closely together for the benefit of all Somali people and to support Somalia’s state building and peacebuilding priorities.”
Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo also held “a constructive dialogue with FGS Ministers and discussed how to enhance coordination between FGS ministries and the United Nations”, commending the FGS’ comprehensive reform agenda and expressed the strong support of the United Nations for implementation of the milestones set out in the FGS’ roadmaps on Inclusive Politics, Security and Justice, Economic Recovery, and Social Development.”
The Prime Minister underscored the Government’s “high regard for the work of the United Nations of which Somalia is a proud member, and emphasised Somalia’s commitment to its international obligations and membership.” He also emphasized the UN’s “critical role in Somalia and thanked the organisation for its contribution to Somalia’s path from conflict to stability and growth.”
The President and Prime Minister also “reiterated their commitment to enhance the security and safety of UN personnel”, adding that they were looking forward to “deepening their long partnership” with the UN, “to enable Somalia to continue to make progress towards a peaceful and prosperous future.”