Insiders Insight: Kicked out of Mogadishu

Mogadishu, Somali. Credit: Frank Keillor.

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Kicked out of Mogadishu

The Somali government expelled the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy Nicholas Haysom last week after he questioned the legality of the arrest of former al-Shabaab leader Mukhtar Robow.

Robow was arrested in December in the south-central town of Baidoa. His detention sparked protests and led to the deaths of 15 people and the detention of more than 300, according to Haysom’s office. The arrest was prompted by his decision to contend for a regional leadership post. He was banned from politics after defecting from al-Shabaab in 2017.

Haysom requested an investigation into the December incident — apparently a step too far for the Somali government, which accused him of consistently releasing statements without consulting the government.

Haysom, who spoke to the UN Security Council last week, said he had seen a positive trajectory in the country, but warned that ongoing political turbulence — like the Baidoa protests — might interrupt progress.

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres pushed back on the government’s decision, but Somali leadership has refused to budge. Guterres has agreed to send a new envoy, but there promises to be lingering tensions between his office and Somali leadership.

The UN has a mission in Somalia and a strong presence throughout political and military operations. In a statement, the UN Security Council expressed regret about Haysom’s expulsion, but said it expected “full cooperation” between the UN and the Somali government moving forwards.

Compiled by  @_andrew_green

This week’s editorial team: @PeterDoerrie@_andrew_green, @jamesjwan.

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Author : Insiders’ Newsletter

Publish date : 2019-01-08 14:45:14

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