The self-declared republic of Somaliland has expressed concerns over to the decision by Mogadishu to expel top United Nations envoy to Somalia.
Somaliland in a statement late Wednesday said Nicholas Haysom, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, had done a commendable job since his appointment in September.
“The Somaliland government believes that the decision to expel the UN envoy is driven by a hidden agenda that may have a negative consequence for the region,” the statement read.
The breakaway northern region also distanced itself from pronouncements made by Mogadishu.
“The decision by the Somali government does not concern Somaliland,” it said, adding that “any activities of the Somali Federal government are its own internal affairs and have no relevance to Somaliland.”
Mogadishu ordered Mr Haysom to leave the country accusing him of interfering with Somalia’s sovereignty after he raised concerns over the actions of UN-backed Somali security forces in recent violence in South West State.
“The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Haysom, is no longer welcome and cannot operate in the country,” read the statement from the Foreign Affairs ministry late Tuesday.
The move followed Mr Haysom’s letter dated December 30 to the government expressing concerns over the arrest of former Al Shabaab deputy leader Mukhtar Robow, which sparked violent protests that left 15 civilians dead and at least 300 people detained on December 13-15 in the southern town of Baidoa, the capital of South West region.
Mr Robow was seeking to run for presidency of the South West State before he was arrested for “undermining stability” and flown to Mogadishu.
Mr Haysom, in his letter, asked the government to provide explanation about the atrocities committed in Baidoa and the detention of Mukhtar Robow.
Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in May 1991 but is yet to get global acceptance.