UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) --
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has
appointed Nicholas Haysom of South Africa as his special
representative for Somalia and head of the UN peacekeeping
mission in the country, Guterres’ press office said Wednesday.
Haysom will succeed
Michael Keating of Britain.
Haysom, born in
1952, is a lawyer with a long international career with a focus
on democratic governance, constitutional and electoral reforms,
reconciliation and peace processes, said the press office.
He is currently the
secretary-general’s special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, a
position he has held since 2016. Prior to this, he served as the
UN chief’s special representative for Afghanistan and head of
the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
In his earlier
career, Haysom served in the government of South Africa. He was
involved in the Burundian peace process from 1999 to 2002, and
in the Sudan peace process from 2002 to 2005.
UN agencies aim to counter
threats posed by explosive devices in Somalia
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
Two UN agencies on Tuesday vowed to strengthen
their collaboration to effectively counter the threat posed by
improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to Somalia’s stability.
The African Union
Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the United Nations Mine Action
Service (UNMAS) noted that tackling the threat posed by IEDs was
crucial to the implementation of the transition plan which will
transfer responsibilities from AMISOM to the Somali government
from 2018 to 2021.
“I look forward to
us working together to tackle and eliminate the threat posed by
IEDs. We are happy to join forces with UNMAS,” said Francisco
Madeira, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the
African Union Commission (SRCC) for Somalia.
The two UN officials
said in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu also promised to
work closely with the Somali government to tackle the use of
Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIED), which has
become al-Shabab’s weapons of choice in Mogadishu and other
parts of the country.
new Head of UNMAS Somalia, reiterated UNMAS’ continued support
to the AU mission and briefed Madeira on initiatives being
undertaken to counter the use of IEDs.
“There is need for
us to work together to develop a more comprehensive approach to
defeat the threat,” said Sadozai who assumed office in July.
UNMAS is a section
of the department of peacekeeping operations, formed in 1997, to
serve as the UN focal point for mine action. It seeks to rid the
world of the threat of landmines and unexploded ordinances.
UN calls on Somalia to hasten
ratification of international treaty on disabilities
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) --
The UN envoy in Somalia on Monday called
on the government to speed up ratification of an international
treaty safe-guarding and promoting the rights of people with
Michael Keating, the
Secretary-General’s Special Representative to Somalia, stressed
that Somalis with disabilities form a crucial part of society,
and that there is need for their inclusion in the political,
social and economic affairs of the country.
“Somalia has agreed
to sign the Convention, so the next step is to get the
legislation passed and part of my purpose is to recognize that
step and to encourage the government of Somalia to pass the
law,” Keating said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
The UN envoy was
speaking in Mogadishu visiting the Al Noor School for the Blind,
one of the few education institutions established for persons
with disabilities in Somalia.
Currently, the Horn
of Africa nation has no national or legal policy framework
regarding people with disabilities.
government recently announced that it would sign the
International Convention on the Rights of Persons with
The Convention is an
international treaty that articulates the rights of persons with
disabilities. Specifically, countries that become parties to it
agree to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal
enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all
persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their
that the number of people with disabilities is higher than the
global average estimate of 15 percent as a result of the
country’s long period of conflict, poverty and lack of access to
Somalia, which had
lacked an effective central government for more than two
decades, does not have accurate information on the number of
people with disabilities.
The Al Noor School
for the Blind currently offers intermediate and secondary
education to more than 140 students from the capital and around
Subjects taught at
the institution include mathematics, languages (English, Arabic
and Somali), Islamic studies, computer and social studies.