Situational Analysis

Situational Analysis

February 2019

The Federal Government of Somalia’s Position toward the UN SRSG:
Reactions from Parties and Future Implications

On Tuesday, January 1, 2019, a statement by the foreign ministry of the Federal Government of Somalia declared Mr. Nicholas Fink Haysom, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, persona non grata. In diplomatic terms, this “persona non grata” declaration simply means that Mr.lIaysom is unwelcome in the territory of Somalia because of his undiplomatic conduct in words or actions. This declaration was a response to a letter from Haysom to the Somali government in which he demanded an explanation of the legality and manner in which the government arrested a supposedly reformed former deputy leader of al-Shabaab, Mr. Mukhtar Robow, who was a main contender for the regional presidency in the South West State elections.’ The Somali government banned Mr. Robow from running, but the South West State electoral body approved his candidacy. According to Somalia’s envoy to the UN, Ambassador AbukarDahir Osman, Mr. Robow ” cannot assume leadership positions without going through a stringent, established rehabilitation program.”

Mr.Haysom, who is also the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNISOM), was asked by the Somali government to step down and leave the country for what the Somali government termed “deliberate interference in the country’s internal affairs and sovereignty.””‘ Indeed, in his address to the UN Security Council, Somalia’s ambassador to the UN affirmed that Somalia is a sovereign state and hence should lead international support, rather than “international support leading Somalia.”He underscored the fact that the government of Somalia was “taking Somalia to a new future “and was “no more of a transitional nature but a sovereign nation with all its rights and privileges.”Notably, Ambassador Osman appealed to the international community to note that Somalia needed support and not criticism from the UN.