Somalia expels deputy AU envoy for overstepping his mandate

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MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somalia’s federal government ordered a senior African Union diplomat to leave the country on Thursday amid a dispute over AMISOM’s exit strategy.

In a statement released by the Foreign Ministry, the country ordered Simon Mulongo, the AU deputy special representative to leave the country within seven days, declaring him persona non grata.

Mr. Abdirizak Mohamed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, informed the African Union Commission on November 4 that Mulongo was no longer welcome in Somalia for “engaging in activities incompatible with AMISOM’s mandate. and the Somali security strategy ”.

His message was followed by reports that Somalia held senior AMISOM leaders to account. The FGS will hold AMISOM staff accountable, especially those at the management level, who are expected to be faultless in their integrity in the performance of their duties under the UN / AU mandate.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation alluded to a decision against the senior AMISOM official on Wednesday in a tweet. “Somalia will achieve the implementation of the STP [Somali Transition Plan], everyone will be held accountable for their actions, no one will be allowed to hinder the Somali nation, we have simply gone too far ”,

The expulsion of Mulongo, who had served as AMISOM’s deputy since August 2017, follows a dispute between Somalia and AMISOM over a post-AMISOM plan. The African Union last month approved a proposal to deploy an AU-UN hybrid stabilization mission to Somalia after the end of 2022.

Somalia, however, rejected the proposal but did not provide an alternative publicly. However, senior administration officials said the new model would jeopardize the implementation of Somalia’s transition plan, which contemplates the resumption of responsibilities by Somali security forces from AMISOM.

Mr. Mulongo becomes the second-highest foreign official to be declared undesirable in Somalia. In January 2018, Somalia expelled South African UN chief in Somalia, Nicholas Haysom, who had just served for three months.

Mulongo, 62, was an MP in Uganda between 2011 and 2016 before being recruited to join AMISOM where he replaced Mozambican Francisco Madeira.

The Republic of Uganda has been one of the most cooperative international partners in the fight against Al-Shabaab militants, who have made their voices heard in the fight against Al-Shabaab militants in the nation of the Horn of Africa.

For years, Al-Shabaab controlled large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia, overriding the capabilities of the African Union mission forces, but the forces attempted to neutralize the forces for a few months.

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