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Envoy criticises UN Mission in Somalia

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia - A top envoy from Somalia has accused the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia [UNSOM] of sabotaging ongoing progress in the Horn of Africa nation, adding that the Federal Government has struggled to work in harmony with the UN body in the war-torn country.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Somalia ambassador to the UN Abukar Dahir Osman insisted that the mission has struggled to achieve some of its objectives, adding that there is a need to restructure the body for the sake of peace and stability in Somalia.

For the mission to fulfill some of the duties as envisioned by the United Nations Security Council [UNSC], there is need to reassess the UNSOM mandate in the country, for the best interest of Somalis and international partners, who have been spearheading various programs in the Horn of Africa nation.

"We firmly believe that time has come to reassess the mandate of UN in Somalia with a view of formulating a more flexible responsive mission to the rapid changes," Dahir said in a tough-worded statement that could ignite overhaul in UNSOM, which has been promoting various UN programs in Somalia.

The chief envoy poked holes into the modus operandi of the mission, arguing that the quarterly reports by the Secretary-General on Somalia no longer make sense or conform to the mantra that UNSOM was established. He insisted that the speeches should focus on real issues affecting Somalia.

"We suggest in the interest of maximizing quarterly Secretary-General reports, usefulness that they should be redesigned to contain less narrative, fewer details about specific events and more in-depth analysis on major issues," he noted, in a statement that could have been endorsed by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

After every quarter, the UN Secretary-General and his special representative in Somalia gives an update on the situation in the war-torn nation. For instance, the two issued a report a fortnight ago, where they called for close cooperation among all stakeholders to ensure timely elections in Somalia.

Dahir's statement came a few hours after the UNSC under Resolution 2540 of 2020 extended the mandate of UNSOM for another one year. In a statement, the UN said the current political and security instability warrants the presence of the mission in the country for another 12 months.

"The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution extending the mandate of UN Somalia until 31 Aug. 2021, and touching upon a range of matters in Somalia, including humanitarian, political, human rights and security issues," UNSOM said in a tweet.

Somalia has been struggling with insecurity for decades now following the ouster of military ruler Siad Barre in 1991. In the last decade, Al-Shabaab militants emerged in the country and have been fighting a purported ideological war with the aim of toppling the fragile UN-backed administration.