By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, June 15 — Two days after Somaliland through its foreign minister told UN envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay that his UNSOM mission is not welcome in Somaliland, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman Martin Nesirky for the UN’s response. It was upbeat.
Now, from a Hargeysa Q&A with Somaliland foreign minister, Mohamed A. Omar
Q: What was the purpose meeting between you and Mr. Kay, and his elaboration ‘There is common will to continue the dialogue?
Mohamed A. Omar: We have explained to the SRSG the decision we have made regarding the political aspects of UNSOM”s mandate in greater details. We have also exchanged our views on how the UN country teams can continue delivering humanitarian and development assistance, while the political section should be closed. We hope the UN will understand our concerns and continue to work with us in other area.
Q: Did he tell you gathering up their equipments for leaving?
Mohamed A. Omar: We told him that the political office should close.
Inner City Press has put the question to Nicholas Kay. Watch this site.
Nesirky said he’d try to get an answer from the Department of Political Affairs. And soon this came in: “Mr. Kay met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Somaliland to further discuss UNSOM’s mandate and operations in Somaliland. There is a common will to continue the dialogue. We are following the situation closely and are in close contact with UNSOM. The United Nations is pleased that dialogue is continuing with Somaliland authorities.”
Inner City Press has obtained and is putting online the Somaliland letter. It says the UN
“ignores the reality of Somaliland’s existence and functioning as an independent state since 1991 and the self-determination rights of our people. Since the purpose of such an office is to extend the remit of the federal government to Somaliland, my government is of the view that a UNSOM’S presences in Hargeysa will not be in the best interest of our country. Therefore, we can not allow UNSOM’S political office to function in Somaliland.”
The UN should not be surprised, though some perhaps are: as Inner City Press reported in April, Somaliland’s letter to the Security Council was never distributed to the Council members. Then the UN system gave Somaliland’s airspace to Somalia, triggering a ban on UN flights. Again: can Nicholas Kay turn this around? We’ll see.
Source: Inner City Press