The Republic of Somaliland protests over to the decision by Mogadishu to expel top United Nations envoy to Somalia.
Somaliland in a statement late Wednesday said Nicholas Haysom, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, had done a commendable job since his appointment in September.
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“The Somaliland government believes that the decision to expel the UN envoy is driven by a hidden agenda that may have a negative consequence for the region,” the statement read.
The Republic of Somaliland also distanced itself from pronouncements made by Mogadishu.
“The decision by the Somali government does not concern Somaliland,” it said, adding that “any activities of the Somali Federal government are its own internal affairs and have no relevance to Somaliland.”
Mogadishu ordered Mr Haysom to leave the country accusing him of interfering with Somalia’s sovereignty after he raised concerns over the actions of UN-backed Somali security forces in recent violence in South West State.
“The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Haysom, is no longer welcome and cannot operate in the country,” read the statement from the Foreign Affairs ministry late Tuesday.
The move followed Mr Haysom’s letter dated December 30 to the government expressing concerns over the arrest of former Al Shabaab deputy leader Mukhtar Robow, which sparked violent protests that left 15 civilians dead and at least 300 people detained on December 13-15 in the southern town of Baidoa, the capital of South West region.
Mr Robow was seeking to run for presidency of the South West State before he was arrested for “undermining stability” and flown to Mogadishu.
Mr Haysom, in his letter, asked the government to provide explanation about the atrocities committed in Baidoa and the detention of Mukhtar Robow.
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Meanwhile, Somaliland envoy to Kenya Bashe Omar says the move is a scheme to scuttle talks to have the independence of Somaliland recognized internationally.
In his statement, Ambassador Bashe said Somaliland remained committed to talks aimed at bringing a lasting solution in the Horn of Africa where Somaliland has been pushing for international recognition.
“The United Nations and Ambassador Haysom had initiated talks aimed at solving the impasse. The decision by Somali government is a scheme to frustrate the talks. Our resolve remains clear, we will work with the international community to solve issues at the Horn of Africa,” said Bashe.
Bashe stated: “It is with utter dismay to learn of the action by the Somali government in declaring United Nations envoy Nickolas Haysom persona non grata in the country.”
“As a diplomat of Somaliland and having worked in several countries, I find the action going against international practice and condemn it,” he added. “We in Somaliland are not party to the move and will continue working with the United Nations and its representatives from top level to the lower level.
“Somalia has made its independent decision and as Somaliland, we are not party to that. We are not part of Somalia. ”
“It is very unfortunate that Somalia has taken such a punitive action at a time when the talks between Somaliland and Somalia set to resume in South Africa.”
“It is a clear indication that Somali government is out to frustrate and scuttle any efforts by the international community and the United Nations to resolve the impasse between Somaliland and Somalia.”
“Our position remains clear as Somaliland, we shall work with the United Nations in the mission to solve the issues in the Somali region.”
“Somalia will not frustrate any efforts by Somaliland to gain international recognition by fighting UN representatives assigned to this region.”
Bashe said the United Nations has played a massive role in helping the horn of nations especially on humanitarian issues.
“UN leadership in Geneva and New York saw it wise to appoint Nickolas Haysom as its representative to Somali region and it beats logic to declare him persona non grata,” Bashe said.