The Somalia government has reportedly ordered Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for Somalia, to leave the country, accusing him of deliberately interfering with the country’s sovereignty. The order comes after Haysom raised concerns about the actions of U.N.-supported Somali security forces in recent violence that left several people dead.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Somalia’s foreign affairs ministry said that Haysom is not required and cannot work in the country, effectively declaring the official persona non grata.
“The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Haysom, is no longer welcome in Somalia and cannot operate in the country,” the foreign ministry’s statement read, reported Reuters.
As per the statement, Haysom openly breached the appropriate conduct of the U.N. office in Somalia. However, as per the UN, Somalia’s security forces used force to put to end three days of demonstrations in the southwestern town of Baidoa back in December, leaving at least 15 people killed and 300 people arrested. The protesters were protesting the arrest of Muktar Robow, a former member of the armed group al-Shabab who was eyeing for post of regional presidency.
According to the Internal Security Ministry, Robow was arrested by the Somali government security forces last month on suspicion that he had brought fighters and weapons back to the southern city of Baidoa. He also was also barred from contesting elections in the South West Region of Somalia.
After the incident, Haysom wrote a letter to the Somali government on December 30, requesting details of the legal basis of the arrest of Robow, as well as calling for investigations into the deaths in the protests following his detention. He urged the Somali government to safeguard human rights. He said that the U.N. understood that most of those detained were children.
There was no immediate comment from the U.N. mission in Somalia.