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Expelled UN envoy concerned about Somali poll

Expelled UN envoy concerned about Somali poll

Somalia

The United Nations envoy to Somalia, Nicholas Haysom, has warned that the arrest of a former militant leader could deter others from choosing politics over violence.

He briefed the U.N. Security Council in New York about the incident despite being kicked out of the country just days earlier for privately expressing his concerns to the government.

“Politics is complex in any nation, but in one that is still establishing its norms, institutional parameters, and still debating the responsibilities of its respective governance structures, there is a risk that complexity shifts to conflict.

Politics is complex in any nation, but in one that is still establishing its norms, institutional parameters, and still debating the responsibilities of its respective governance structures, there is a risk that complexity shifts to conflict.

“We witnessed this during the electoral process in South West State. Allegations of interference by the Federal Government and the violence which erupted following the arrest of one of the candidates, a former al Shabaab deputy leader, marred the process and does not bode well for upcoming electoral processes in other regions or for the 2020 national elections.

“This may also have implications for the likelihood of future al Shabaab defectors who may be considering exchanging violence for a political path,” he said.

However, Haysom did not address a statement issued by Somalia’s foreign affairs ministry late on Tuesday accusing him of interfering in internal affairs and said he “cannot work in this country.”

The United Nations said on Wednesday it was looking into the matter.

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