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New UN Envoy Arrives in Hargeisa

By UNITED NATIONS
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MOGADISHU, Somalia, June 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The new Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary–General (SRSG) Nicholas Kay arrived in Hargeisa, Somaliland this morning to meet with His Excellency President Ahmed Mahamed Mohamud (Silaanyo) and officials of the Somaliland Administration. This is SRSG Kay's first visit to Somaliland since he assumed his duties as head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) on June 3.

He was received by Dr. Mohamed Abdillahi Omar, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, who accompanied the new SRSG to the mass graves in Hargeisa, in commemoration of the worst human rights violations of the Siyad Barre regime, which occurred between 1984 and 1988.

On his arrival in Hargeisa, SRSG Nicholas Kay said “I have come to Hargeisa early in my new assignment in order to make it clear to the authorities and people of Somaliland that the United Nations supports their aspirations for peace and prosperity.”

“Somaliland has remained an island of relative peace and stability in an insecure region and we believe that there are lessons that can be learned here about stabilizing the whole region. We are therefore here to learn and to support initiatives that will lead to sustainable peace, stability and prosperity in Somalia and beyond.”

The mandate of UNSOM is to support the building of national capacity, peacebuilding, with a focus on good governance, security sector reform, rule of law, human rights, providing “good offices” for mediation and political reconciliation and coordination of international assistance.

The UN envoy said “We have noted Somaliland's efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and to entrench democracy through holding periodic elections. We are also aware of the challenges that Somaliland faces in institutionalizing a formal system of justice alongside the traditional one and we look forward to working together to reinforce the rule of law.”

UNSOM stands ready to support constructive engagement between Somalia and Somaliland. The UN envoy further said “This is only my first visit to Somaliland of many and I intend to have a close and fruitful relationship with its people and authorities. Our office in Hargeisa will be proactively engaging the administration and civil society to explore areas of further cooperation.”