New Special Representative of UN Secretary-General for Somalia arrives in Mogadishu

25 Jun 2019

New Special Representative of UN Secretary-General for Somalia arrives in Mogadishu

Mogadishu  The recently appointed Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia and Head of Mission of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), James Swan, arrived in Mogadishu today to take up his duties.

Senior officials from the Federal Government of Somalia and the United Nations welcomed Mr. Swan during a brief ceremony held at Mogadishu’s Aden Abdulle International Airport.

The State Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdulkadir Ahmed-Kheir Abdi, represented the Federal Government at the ceremony and said the people of Somalia were happy to receive the new SRSG.

“The President and Prime Minister will receive you in their offices. I extend a warm welcome on behalf of the Somali people to Somalia,” said Mr. Abdi.

Mr. Swan said he was eager to work with Somali authorities and international partners to fulfil UNSOM’s mandate and help to coordinate and state-building efforts in Somalia.

“I am honoured to be back to Somalia in this new capacity as Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNSOM. I have spent many years working in Somalia in different capacities. But I am eager to hear what the situation is currently and consult widely with leaders and the people. We in the UN community look forward to working very closely with you to make progress here in Somalia,” he said.

Also present to receive the new SRSG was the Chairperson of Somalia’s National Independent Electoral Commission, Halima Ismail Ibrahim.

Senior United Nations officials who greeted Mr. Swan included the Deputy Special Representatives of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Raisedon Zenenga and George Conway, the Head of the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS), Lisa Filipetto, and the Director of UNSOS, Amadu Kamara.

Mr. Swan is a career diplomat with extensive experience working in sub-Saharan Africa, where he most recently served as U.S. Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2013 until 2016 and the U.S. Special Representative for Somalia during 2011-2013.