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Somalia orders top UN envoy to leave

January 03, 2019

MOGADISHU: 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 leader who was vying for post of regional presidency.

Robow, who defected from the Al-Shabaab movement in 2017, was detained by the government accused of seeking to "undermine stability", and flown to the capital Mogadishu.