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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Somalia Government declares United Nations
envoy persona non-grata, citing interference

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The Somali government on Tuesday accused the United Nations special envoy of "violating protocols" and "deliberately interfering" in the internal affairs of the Horn of Africa country.
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation declared Nicholas Haysom, special representative of the UN secretary-general for Somalia, a "persona non-grata," saying the UN envoy is not welcome in the nation.

The ministry said in a statement that the 66-year-old is unwanted and cannot operate in the country.

The drastic move by Somalia came after the UN envoy asked clarification from the government on whether UN-supported forces were involved in the shooting of demonstrators in the southern city of Baidoa last month.

In his letter, Haysom demanded answers from the government about the legal basis for arresting former al-Shabab deputy leader Mukhtar Robow who was the main challenger in the South West State elections for regional presidency.

Robow's arrest sparked clashes between Robow's supporters and Somali security forces on Dec. 13-15, resulting in the death of more than 10 people.

 

Nicholas Haysom, special representative of the UN secretary-general for Somalia | Coastweek

Nicholas Haysom, special representative of the UN secretary-general for Somalia.
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The UN envoy also inquired about actions the government had taken to investigate circumstances surrounding the deaths of civilians in Baidoa during demonstrations.

There was no immediate comment from Haysom on the government allegations.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

AMISOM forces kill seven al-Shabab militants in southern Somalia

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan military said Tuesday its soldiers operating under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) killed seven al-Shabab terrorists while an unknown number escaped with injuries in southern Somalia.

Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) spokesman Paul Njuguna said two soldiers sustained minor injuries during the fighting along Tabda-Delahola supply route at around 11 a.m.

"Additionally, nine AK 47 rifles, ten magazines, two rocket-propelled grenade launchers and three grenades were captured," Njuguna said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

He said KDF soldiers will remain vigilant and will continue to relentlessly pursue terrorists, to ensure peace and security of Kenya, as well as support AMISOM operations in order to stabilize Somalia.

Somalia and AMISOM forces have embarked on joint security operations to clear main supply routes to facilitate delivery of humanitarian aid to the population.
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Three injured in mortar attack on UN compound in Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Two United Nations staff members and a contractor were injured on Tuesday after seven mortars landed inside the UN compound in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Nicholas Haysom, special representative of the UN secretary-general for Somalia, confirmed that none of the injuries is life-threatening and condemned the indirect fire attack.

"Today's indirect fire attack on the main UN compound in Mogadishu may amount to a violation of international humanitarian law, and I deplore this unwarranted act of aggression against our personnel," Haysom said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

The militant group al-Shabab has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack, the first such attack this year.

"No political agenda can be served through violence that deliberately targets staff members of international organizations who are supporting the consolidation of peace and the strengthening of governing institutions in Somalia," Haysom said.

The UN envoy wished the wounded colleagues a full recovery.

             

 

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