Somalia’s government has ordered the UN top envoy to the troubled country to leave, accusing him of “deliberately interfering with the country’s sovereignty.”
The order comes days after the official, Nicholas Haysom, raised concerns at the action of Somalia’s UN-backed security services in recent violence that left several people dead.
“The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Haysom, is no longer welcome in Somalia and cannot operate in the country,” the foreign ministry said in a statement late Tuesday.
There was no immediate reaction from the UN mission in Somalia.
Somalia’s security forces used force to put down three days of demonstrations in the south-western town of Baidoa on 13-15 December, with at least 15 people killed and 300 people arrested, according to the UN.
Protesters were angry at the arrest of Muktar Robow, a former Islamist leader who was vying for post of regional presidency.
Robow, who defected from the jihadist Al-Shabaab movement in 2017, was detained by the government accused of seeking to “undermine stability”, and flown to the capital Mogadishu.
Robow’s run for office exposed the tensions between Somalia’s federal states, which want greater autonomy from a national administration keen to safeguard its central powers.
The UN mission in Somalia is tasked with supporting peace efforts and the strengthening of government institutions in the Horn of Africa nation, which was left ruined by decades of civil war.
As part of that, the UN supports police officers, including with stipend salary payments, logistics, uniforms and training.
Haysom wrote to the Somali government on December 30, requesting details of the legal basis of the arrest of Robow, as well as calling for investigations into the deaths in the protests following his detention.
The UN mission in Somalia faces frequent attacks.
On Tuesday, three people were wounded including two UN staff members when gunmen fired a barrage of mortars into the main UN base in Mogadishu.
The Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Haysom, a South African lawyer and experienced diplomat who was previously the UN special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, was appointed to the post in Somalia September 2018.
Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
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Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
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Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
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