Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Ambassador Augustine P. Mahiga, arrived in Hargeisa, Somaliland on Wednesday.
The ambassador and his delegation were warmly greeted at Egal International Airport by Foreign Minister, Dr. Mohamed Abdullahi Omar, newly appointed Information Minister, Mr. Ahmed Abdi Habsade and Chief of Cabinet, Mr. Hersi Ali H. Hassan.
Amb. Mahiga told reporters in the VIP room that the United Nation plans to open regional offices in Hargeisa to help address local issues and needs. He did not specify the type of offices or number of staff but he said he will be in the country for the next two days to discuss a draft plan with the concerning bodies.
He was led away to the Presidential palace where he is expected to hold talks with senior government members, lawmakers and opposition groups. In the next phase, he is expected to hold talks with aid agencies operating in the country and NGOs. He will also discuss the current drought in the country.
After June elections in 2010, the United Nation said it was stepping up its engagement with Somaliland and will transfer some of its offices from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, to Hargeisa.
The Somaliland government said they welcome that change in attitude and the office. Prior to its announcement, the UN carried out a security assessment and said Somaliland was safe for its staff and for international dignitaries to visit.
Somaliland declared the restoration of its independence in 1991 after a union with neighboring Somalia failed after a bloody civil war that killed more than 50,000 Somalilanders. For the last twenty years, it has been improving its security, democratic institutions and stability despite not receiving international recognition.
Source: Somaliland Press