New UN envoy arrives in Somalia to advance peace efforts

UN: Monday May 27, 2024

Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia and Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Somalia (UNSOM) James Swan arrived in Mogadishu on Sunday to boost stabilization efforts.

UNSOM said in a statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, that Swan’s focus will be to support the Somali government and the Somali people in advancing their peace, security, development and state-building priorities.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the designation of Swan on May 14.

“Swan then held extensive meetings with UN headquarters leadership prior to his arrival in Mogadishu,” UNSOM said.

Swan previously served as the special representative for Somalia and head of UNSOM from 2019 to 2022, after a long career in the United States diplomatic service.

Swan was deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs from 2006 to 2008, and director of African analysis in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research from 2005 to 2006.

Prior to holding these assignments, Swan held various assignments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Congo, Somalia, Cameroon, Nicaragua and Haiti.

Swan’s arrival comes after Somalia formally requested the UN to terminate the mandate of UNSOM in the country following a thorough consideration of its strategic priorities.

Somali Foreign Minister Ahmed Fiqi said recently that the Somali government will no longer request a mandate renewal of resolution 2705 (2023).