SRSG Keating Arrives in Somalia
PRESS STATEMENT 01/2016
The new Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) Michael Keating pledged to help the Somali people in restoring their country to peace and prosperity as he arrived in Mogadishu this morning to take up his new duties.
“I definitely see my job as helping Somalis to fulfill their own vision for the country and also to help maintain international coherence and support in the times ahead,” said Mr. Keating. “I am very conscious of how different Somalia is today and how much progress it has made…but at the same time I’m under no illusions about the many problems that we face.”
Foreign Minister Omer noted that the SRSG’s prior tours of duty for the UN including in Afghanistan and the Middle East should stand him in good stead in his new assignment.
“You must like these types of jobs,” said the minister as he addressed Mr. Keating. “It’s a good time for you to be in Somalia because we need to complete the process, we need to eliminate Al Shabaab, and we need to be part of the nations of the world.”
Mr. Keating said the UN has a “good reputation” in Somalia and acknowledged the “great work” the organisation and its employees have been doing in the country. He also paid tribute to the “bravery of colleagues in AMISOM.”
The SRSG later met with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke and Speaker of the Federal Parliament Mohamed Osman Jawari.
Mr. Keating succeeds Nicholas Kay, who completed a two-and-a-half year assignment as SRSG for Somalia and Head of UNSOM on 29 December 2015.