Somalia accuses UNSOM of ‘sensationalising political trends’

Somalia told the UNSC the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) was misrepresenting the political situation in the country. Photo: UN|March 27, 2018

The protest by Somalia comes amid a circuitous political row stretching close to a month now

Somalia has accused the UN office in the country of ‘sensationalising political trends’ noting the statements from the Mogadishu based office have generated ‘negative impacts’ on the country.

Somalia’s permanent representative to the UN Abukar Osman told the UN Security Council Tuesday the ongoing recovery efforts in the country ‘must be Somali-driven, and must be seen to be Somali-drive’.

“We remain deeply concerned with UNSOM senior officials periodically, making erroneous statements during conference on political issues on Somalia,” said Osman.

“We are further troubled by the negative impacts these statements generate in the UNSC as well as Somalia.

In his November 2017 briefing to the Council, UNSOM head Michael Keating warned of  ‘politicians and power brokers using opportunities to advance their own clan interests or personal ambitions, using tools such as threats of impeachment and motions of no confidence’ in Somalia.

Mogadishu may not have also taken lightly Keating’s mention of the controversial transfer of Ogaden National Liberation from leader Abdikarim Muse. Keating told the Council the transfer of the ONLF leader to Ethiopia was ‘creating strains in the relations between state institutions’. The cabinet had termed Muse’s transfer legal even as the Federal Parliament opined it was unconstitutional.


Added Osman, “We strongly urge UNSOM leadership to remain committed on carrying their duties as set out in their mandate, and refrain from sensationalizing political trends, which can be harmful to our current efforts in the government-led political process as well as peace and political stability in Somalia.”

The protest by Somalia comes amid a circuitous political row stretching close to a month now as a faction allied to Prime Minister Hassan Khaire aims to send home Lower House Speaker Mohamed Jawari. Dispute has also emerged between the Lower House leadership on when the recall MPs for business. First deputy speaker Ibrahim Mudey set March 31 for the vote but second deputy Mahad Awad who is allied to Jawari has dismissed it terming a ‘one man show’.

Meanwhile the Security Council extended the mandate of UNSOM for another one year to March 31, 2019. The Council urged the Keating led Mission to support Somalia in preparing for 2020 elections and provide strategic advice to implementing the Comprehensive Approach Security, a component of the Security Pact agree to last May in London as part of Amisom’s exit strategy.


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