James Swan: Has the UN failed Somalia?

UNSOM’s chief discusses if the conflict in Somalia is the United Nation’s biggest diplomatic failure.

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan addresses Ugandan soldiers serving with the United Nations Guard Unit (UNGU), during a medal award ceremony in Mogadishu to mark the completion of their tour of duty in Somalia, on 16 July 2019. UN Photo / Ilyas Ahmed

The United Nations has played a central role in efforts for peace in Somalia since the downfall of President Siad Barre in 1991 prompted political chaos across the Horn of Africa.

But almost 30 years on, the Somali people still live in turmoil, hundreds of thousands have been killed and millions displaced.