Simon Mulongo: Somalia Expels Top AU Diplomat Amid Escalating Tensions

Simon Mulongo

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somali government on Thursday declared the Deputy Special Representative of the African Union for Somalia Simon Mulongo a persona non grata and ordered him to leave the country within a week.

Mr Mulongo is accused of engaging in activities that were incompatibe with the mandate of the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali federal government’s security strategy.

In a statement, Somali foreign minister Mohamed Abdirizak said the government of president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo “will hold accountable AMISOM personnel, particularly those at the leadership level, who are expected to be beyond reproach in their integrity as they discharge their duty under the UN/AU mandate”.

Tensions have been running between the Somali government and AMISOM leadership over the past weeks over a proposal of joint AU and UN peacekeeping mission, which authorities in Mogadishu have strongly rejected.

There are reports that the move could be linked to a dispute between African Union top diplomats in Somalia, with some said to be allied with the incumbent president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

The Horn of Africa nation declared Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Somalia, a persona non grata after he had asked the federal government to provide an explanation about the arrest of former Al-Shabaab commander Mokhtar Robow.

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