UN Envoy to Somalia Laing Departs Amid Tensions with Government

Published: April 22, 2024

Mogadishu, Somalia (HM) – The United Nations’ top envoy to Somalia, Catriona Laing, is departing her post as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), cutting her assignment short after just one year.

While the UN release stated Laing’s “one-year assignment ends on 21 May,” there are rumors her early exit is due to tensions with Somalia’s federal government, which was reportedly dissatisfied with her tenure.

In her farewell statement Laing struck an optimistic tone about the country’s future, despite the challenges.

“I have full confidence that Somalia will succeed and that the African Union and United Nations, along with our international partners, will continue to play a crucial role in supporting Somalis on their path to peace and stability,” she said. “For me, Somalia is a place of hope and friendship, and I will continue to support and advocate for Somalia wherever I am.”

Unnamed sources claim that Somali government has reportedly filed a complaint against Catriona Laing. Details of the complaint and the government’s demands remain unclear. Some reports suggest the government requested her replacement, while others mention the possibility of her being declared persona non grata. Catriona reportedly departed her position before her term’s end. The Somali government has not yet commented on these reports.

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