By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia-UNSOM led by Brit Nicholas Kay has promised to work closely with the Hargeisa government just as did its predecessor UN Political Office for Somalia-UNPOS headed by outgoing Tanzanian Amb Augustine Mahiga.
This was revealed by the UNSOM spokesperson Mr Aleem Sidique during an interview with Reporter Mohamud Walaleye of Somalilandsun, in which he also informed that the UN body shall only act as an ‘honest broker’ between the authorities in Hargeisa, and Mogadishu especially as pertains to assisting the authorities by offering it’s ‘good offices’ to support an Somali-Somali dialogue.
Mr Sidique further revealed that Nicholas Kay the Briton appointed by Ban Ki Moon to head UNSOM is in consultations with Somaliland authorities and shall visit Hargeisa as soon as UNSOM is operational.
Below are the full verbatim excerpts of the interview
Q-As per letter dated 19 April 2013 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council stated Somaliland insisted continuation of the “dual-track” policy regarding international assistance, stressing the need for the United Nations presence in Somaliland to have specifically tailored priorities “without prejudice to the political and priorities of federated regions of Somalia”, will UNSOM align its activities with Somaliland demand?
A – UNSOM is a new UN Mission working for all Somali people, where ever they live. UNSOM will work more closely with the Somaliland Government to help support the authorities to build peace, stability and prosperity for their people.
UNSOM is committed to offering it’s help if requested as an ‘honest broker’ between the authorities in Hargeisa, Mogadishu and Garowe.
Do the experts to be deployed in Somaliland, have capacity of grasping with Somaliland’s unique stage of development, as stated by the Secretry general’s “taking into account the latter’s (Somaliland) unique conditions?
Yes. UNSOM’s office in Somaliland will be staffed with specialists and experts that are specifically required in Somaliland. Including experts in mediation, building rule of law institutions, development, police planning and coordination of international assistance to Somaliland
What is UNSOM’s take regarding future dialogue between Hargeisa and Mogadishu as per sorting out their future relations?
UNSOM is committed to offering it’s help if requested as an ‘honest broker’ between the authorities in Hargeisa, Mogadishu and Garowe. UNSOM stands ready to assist the authorities by offering it’s ‘good offices’ to support an Somali-Somali dialogue to address the challenges related to the formation of regional administrations.
Does the UNSOM head plan to visit Somaliland, if yes, when?
Yes, Very soon the SRSG Kay will visit Somaliland. We are talking to the Somaliland Government to agree a suitable date.
Last month, the Security Council unanimously voted to establish a new UN Assistance Mission in Somalia to be based in Mogadishu. The Mission’s mandate begun on 1st June for an initial period of 12 months.
As part of its mandate, UNSOM will support State building and peace-building with a focus on good governance, security sector reform, rule of law, human rights, providing “good offices” for mediation and political reconciliation and coordination of international assistance.
“This is an historic moment for Somalia,” said Mr. Kay, who will lead UNSOM efforts. “The people of Somalia rightly have high expectations. We need to aim high. We look forward with hope towards a national election in 2016. The challenges are tremendous, but we must work hard to seize the moment.”
UNSOM will incorporate the work of the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) and the UN Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA), which had backed the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) since its inception in 2007.
Mr. Kay paid tribute to the UNPOS Team, stating it had completed its mission, and added that UNSOM marks the beginning of a new phase for the UN in Somalia.