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Haysom mute as Somalia reinforces case against him at UN

Storyline:National News

By T. Roble

UN envoy to Somalia Nicholas Haysom who was declared unwanted by Federal Government Tuesday steered clear of his ouster by Mogadishu Thursday as the country’s man in the UN maintained the South African was no longer welcome in the Horn of Africa country.

Addressing the UN Security Council, Haysom did not make any reference to the move taken by Mogadishu but warned alleged government interference in the federal states could hamper elections in the regions and the 2020 poll.

“Allegations of interference by the federal government and the violence which erupted following the arrest of one of the candidates, a former al-Shabab deputy leader, marred the process and does not bode well for upcoming electoral processes in other regions or for the 2020 national elections,” Haysom said.

Even as both Haysom and the UN remained mute on the development, Somalia was still on the warpath with Haysom. Addressing the Council after Haysom, Somalia’s ambassador to the UN Abukar Osman was categorical urging the global body not to interfere with his country’s management of internal affairs.

“The UN and its representatives have a duty, even an obligation, to respect their mandate and to not interfere in our internal affairs, and to let the Somalis control their own destiny,” said Osman.

Earlier, foreign minister Ahmed Awad told the BBC Haysom’s fate was a done deal. “Haysom’s decision is final – we have tolerated enough and Haysom is gone,” said Awad.


And in what could be Somalia’s official response to the UN envoy over his letter to the federal authorities to explain the circumstances surrounding the arrest and withdrawal of Mukhtar Robow from the South West race in December, Osman accused Haysom of trying to ‘rebrand terrorists’.

“While we strive to re-establish the rule of law and end a culture of impunity, we reject the criticism and attempt to rebrand the new terrorism as an ice-cream salesperson without redeeming themselves.”

Haysom had in his letter to the federal government late December warned the arrest of Robow without trial violated his rights adding such a move could deter any further defections from Al-Shabaab. He maintained the same argument to the Security Council.

“This (Robow’s arrest) may also have implications for the likelihood of future al-Shabaab defectors who may be considering exchanging violence for a political path,” said Osman.

Even as the two faced off, the UN remained ‘in waiting’ regarding Haysom’s fate but said it was still following up the matter.

“We are still trying to get some clarification. There’s nothing formal or official to announce to you. We imagine he will go back to work,” UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters shortly after the Council’s meeting.