Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed veteran U.S. diplomat James Swan as the U.N.’s top envoy for Somalia, replacing Nicholas Haysom of South Africa, who was expelled in January.
U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq announced the appointment Thursday and said Swan spent most of his career “in African countries facing complex political transitions.”
He served as U.S. ambassador to Congo from 2013-2016, U.S. special representative for Somalia from 2011-2013, ambassador to Djibouti from 2008-2011 and deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs from 2006-2008.
Somali officials said Haysom meddled in their internal matters when he raised concerns about the basis for the arrest of Mukhtar Robow. The Security Council expressed regret that Somalia expelled a U.N. envoy who questioned the arrest of the extremist group defector-turned-political candidate.