New UN envoy seeks lasting progress on peace in Somalia

Newly appointed special representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Somalia, James Swan, has vowed to continue seeking lasting peace in the Horn of African country.

Swan made the promise after arriving in Mogadishu on Tuesday to begin his work in the country.

He pledged to work in collaboration with Somalia’s people and international partners in order to achieve stability.

“I am excited about working together with national and international partners to achieve lasting progress towards the peace and prosperity that the Somali people so richly deserve,” Xinhua quotes Swan.

The 55-year-old replaces Haysom whom the Somali government early this year accused of “violating protocols” and “deliberately interfering” in the country’s internal affairs.

Swan, from the United States, was appointed to the post on May 30 and brings a wealth of experience in sub-Saharan Africa to the UN.

His first assignment to Somalia was 25 years ago when he served as a political officer in the Office of the U.S. special envoy for Somalia from 1994 to 1996.

“My previous experience in Somalia occurred in a bilateral role, but I now have the honor and responsibility of representing the UN and, by extension, the broader international community in the country,” Swan said.

In more recent times, Swan worked as a deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs during 2007-2008, the U.S. ambassador to Djibouti between 2008 and 2011 and the U.S. special representative for Somalia from 2011 to 2013.

He ended his State Department career as U.S. Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he served from 2013 to 2016.