Somalilandsun- The newly installed United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative to Somalia Nicholas Haysom has completed a familiarization tour that saw him make Maiden visits to the regional state administrations of Puntland, Southwest and Galmudug as well as to the republic of Somaliland.
Replacing Nicholas Keating as both SRGS and Head of UNSOM in October 2018, the envoy assumes his mandate, at a time of heightened tensions between the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and the country’s Federal Member States, priority has been to establish some rapport with not only the FGS but with regional states Leadership as well.
In justification of this priority Nicholas Haysom said “I’m aware that Somalia is not Mogadishu, Mogadishu is not Somalia – it’s necessary for me to visit the regions to see my own staff, but also to see how people live across the breadth and length of Somalia,”
Apart from his visit to Somaliland and Puntland the SRSG was accompanied to the rest by his counterpart from the African Union (AU), the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Francisco Madeira.
To jumpstart these rounds of introductory meetings the SRSG Somalia, Nicholas Haysom, visited Kismayo, the capital of Jubaland, a Federal Member State in the country’s south.
“ We are convinced that Somalia needs all of its people to work together and to find a solution as to how to work together,” said the SRSG Upon meeting with Jubaland President President Ahmed Mohamed Islam Madobe in Kismayo
Read: In Kismayo, UN Envoy Encourages Somalis to Solve Problems Together
His rounds of introductory meetings with regional state leaders took him next to the South West State where met and held discussions with president Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden in the capital Baidoa.
Amb Haysom was emphatic on the need for the state to hold “credible and acceptable” presidential elections next month while renewing call for collaboration to solve ongoing tensions between the country’s federal and state authorities.
From Baidoa the SRGS went to Galmudug State and subsequently met with leaders in Galkayo upon whom he urged continued political dialogue and collaboration
Read: In Galkayo, UN Envoy Urges Regional Leaders to Continue Dialogue and Collaboration
After Galkayo came a two-day visit to Puntland and Somaliland, where he met their leaders and discussed a range of issues – including the need for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Tukaraq area of the contested Sool region which lies between them.
The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Nicholas Haysom, spent a day in Somaliland’s capital, Hargeisa, where he met its President Muse Bihi Abdi.
“I had the opportunity to discuss with the president the recent changes in the region, the challenges facing Somaliland and of course, in that regard, we touched on the conflict in Tukaraq,” he said. “In particular, how that conflict can be managed to avoid any conflagration, any irruption of hostilities in the short term, and a long-term solution for that conflict.”
“Here in Somaliland we got a sense of the impact of the changes in the region and what that meant for the challenges facing Somaliland,” Mr. Haysom added. “And, of course, [we got] to discuss the Somaliland-Somalia relations.”
The UN official also met with a group of Somaliland civil society representatives and parliamentarians, who provided him with an overview of challenges and achievements in recent years regarding political, electoral and Security issues..
Next destination was Puntland where Mr. Haysom met and held talks with regional administration’s President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali ‘Gas’ in the capital Garowe.
As with Somaliland’s leader, the need for maintaining peace in Tukaraq, where forces from Puntland and Somaliland have clashed in recent months, was a topic of discussion, Read a statement released by UNSOM.
They also discussed how to improve relations between the Federal Government of Somalia and the country’s Federal Member States, in light of recent political tensions.
“We looked at the ways in which both levels of government in Somalia can work together to achieve what Somalis want, which is peace and prosperity,” the UN official said, adding that the visit was an “important opportunity to underline that for Somalia to succeed everyone needs to work in the same direction.”