Somalia orders top U.N. official to leave

The government accused Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General, of interfering with internal affairs.

Haysom raised questions in a Dec. 30 letter about the involvement of U.N.-supported Somali security forces in the arrest of a former militant of the Islamist al Shabaab group who was blocked from running in a recent regional election.

Haysom “is not required and cannot work in this country”, the foreign affairs ministry said. “He openly breached the appropriate conduct of the U.N. office in Somalia,” said the statement late on Tuesday, which effectively makes the South African persona non grata.

There was no immediate comment from the U.N. mission which also supports an African Union peacekeeping force fighting al Shabaab.

Haysom’s letter to the interior security minister expressed concern over the government’s handling of the arrest of former Shabaab leader Mukhtar Robow and subsequent unrest last month.