The newly appointed Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) Nicholas Haysom is coming to Somaliland for a two day visit starting today.

Mr. Haysom a South African native who has served under late President Nelsom Mandella as Chief Legal and Constitutional Adviser and has been Representative for South Sudan took the helm of the UNSOM mission in Somalia from Michael Keating just 50 days ago is headed to Somaliland for a high level meeting with the government of Somaliland. 

President Muse Bihi Abdi meeting former Head of UNSOM Michael Keating

It is unclear what topics will be discussed but diplomatic sources in Nairobi state that Mr. Haysom is determined to mend the fence with Somaliland after the tense and adversarial atmosphere created by his predecessor, Michael Keating, whose impartiality Somaliland has officially protested.

On Thursday’s, the President and his cabinet on their weekly cabinet meeting discussed re-evaluation of Somaliland government’s working relationship with United Nation and other international agencies. No other specifics or the purpose of the re-evaluation was released to the public. It is unclear if Mr. Haysom’s visit is related to this matter or whether it will be an agenda item in his meetings with the President and members of his cabinet.

Mr. Haysom is expected to meet the President of Somaliland HE Muse Bihi Abdi, the Vice President Abdirahman Abdallahi Ismail Saylici, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr Saad Ali Shire, Minister of Interior Mohamed Kahin Ahmed.

Mr Haysom also known as ‘Fink’ has visited parts of neighboring Somalia since he took over the UNSOM mission and has been in Kismayo few days ago. 

Mr. Keating’s tenure as Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) is considered a failure. His last report to the United Nations Security Council underscored the depth to which Somalia has sunk in terms of security and rule of law but also painted a rosy picture of governance by Somalia’s Federal Government that has been largely disputed.