United Nations Security Council ‘ regret’ Somalia’s expulsion decision

On Saturday, the UN Security Council expressed its regret at the expulsion of the UN envoy to Somalia, but said that it expects ” full cooperation ” between Somalia and the United Nations. The statement followed an announcement by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that he intends to appoint a new envoy to replace the fallen foul Nicholas Haysom of the Somali government. Members of the United Nations Security Council ” expressed their regret ” at the decision of the Somali Government to declare Nicholas Haysom as a persona non grata to the United Nations. At the same time, it ” highlighted the international community ‘s strong and ongoing commitment to support peace, stability and development, ” the press release said. Haysom, a South African lawyer, spent a little more than three months at work. He was previously a UN envoy to Afghanistan, a UN director for political, peacekeeping and humanitarian affairs at the Secretary-General’s office and for the UN mission in Iraq. The Somali Government, however, accused him of interfering in the internal affairs of the country and said that he was no longer welcome to work in the country. Haysom had raised concerns with the government about the arrest of a former Al-Shabaab hardline militant who was prevented from running a regional election. In comments to the UN Security Council, the UN envoy said that the interference of the Somali government was not “good for the well” for other regional elections or the expected national elections in 2020. A UN Secretary-General spokesperson, Antonio Guterres, said on Friday that he had “full confidence” in Haysom, who had “distinguished himself in many senior roles.” Despite the fact that the concept of persona non grata does not apply to UN staff, Guterres has nevertheless decided to appoint a new UN envoy. The Somali government was particularly critical of Haysom’s attempts to violate the country’s sovereignty and independence. “We reject criticism and attempt to rebrand renewed terrorists as an ice cream seller without redemption,” said UN Ambassador Abukar Dahir Osman of Somalia to the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, according to the Reuters news agency. On Wednesday, the French Government said that it “deplores” the Somali government’s unilateral action and offered its “full support” to Haysom, saying that he had “always distinguished himself” both in the UN and in South Africa. Eliot Engel, the recently elected chairman of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said he was concerned about what Haysom’s expulsion said about the evolution of the situation in the country. “Amidst deteriorating governance conditions and a stalemated battle against Al-Shabaab, the expulsion of UN Somalia Envoy Nicholas Haysom compounds my concerns about the direction in which Somalia is headed,” said Engel in a tweet on Wednesday by the US House Foreign Affairs Committee. RFI Source