The Somali militant islamist organization al-Shabaab has issued a press release condemning the opening of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), in Mogadishu. The group says the UN office is not legitimate.
A UN press release, issued a few days ago, through the African Press Organization, said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative (SRSG) for Somalia, Ambassador Augustine P. Mahiga, arrived in Mogadishu, Somalia, from Nairobi, Kenya. Ambassador Mahiga was welcomed by Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali.
In 1995, the UN Operations in Somalia II (UNOSOM II) office in Mogadishu was closed. The Special Representative at that time, was James Victor Gbeho of Ghana. The new UNPOS organization was established a short time later, in Nairobi, Kenya.
“I sincerely hope that the arrival of the UN Political Office will mark the start of renewed hope for the future of Somalia,” said Ambassador Mahiga. “Being in Mogadishu will allow us to work far more closely with the Transitional Federal Institutions, the UN agencies and NGOs already based here, civil society and ordinary Somalis. We have much to do and we are eager to get straight to work.”
– Ambassador Mahiga
Al-Shabaab says the UNPOS office is part of western attempts to destabilize the country, and prevent real peace, by dividing and conquering, and causing political upheaval.
The islamist group warned that they have previously forced UNPOS offices to close.
Here is the content of the al-Shabaab press release.
Somali Population Must be Wary of Illegitimate Organisations Such as UNPOS
The opening of UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) base in Mogadishu signals a renewed Western attempt to further destabilise the Somali nation. Since its establishment, UNPOS, and its numerous contractors, have persistently continued to act as an impediment to the attainment of lasting peace and stability in the country.
Through implementation of policies and so-called roadmaps unfavourable to the needs of the wider population, UNPOS’s approach to Somalia is not to advance peace and reconciliation, as alleged, but to foment dissent and ill-will among the local tribes, thereby keeping the Somali state in a perpetual cycle of conflict and disharmony.
In its attempts to further fragment the homogeneous Somali society, UNPOS has been obsessively mobilising local clans against the establishment of Islamic Shari’ah in the country and actively financing different groups in order o revive the old hostilities engendered by tribal fiefdoms across Somalia. The misguided political guidelines endorsed by UNPOS are not only destructive to the sovereignty of the Somali nation but also disparaging to the dignity and the very existence of the people of Somalia as a whole.
Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen’s Office for Supervising the Affairs of Foreign Agencies (OSAFA), which has previously closed down UNPOS offices in the regions governed by the Mujahideen, hereby warns the Somali population not to be deceived by the obscure terminology and the clandestine initiatives presented by such organisations. OSAFA also encourages the Muslims of Somalia to take all necessary precaution to distance themselves away from organisations that seek to further exacerbate the political upheaval in the country.
Office for Supervising the Affairs of Foreign Agencies (OSAFA)
“Safeguarding the welfare of the Muslim Ummah”