Appointment of Ambassador Ms. Catriona Laing as the new SRSG For Somalia.

We welcome the United Nations Secretary-General’s appointment of Ms. Catriona Laing of the United Kingdom as the Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).

Her appointment comes at a critical time as Somalia is making major inroads in the fight against Al-Shabab even though the country is in the grip of an ongoing climate and conflict induced humanitarian crisis.

As a well-respected British citizen, Ms. Laing’s understanding and familiarity with the situation on the ground is better informed by UK’s continuous role in Somalia’s State-Building process, including efforts to build viable initiatives in the security sector, stabilization, counterterrorism, peacebuilding, reconciliation, development and humanitarian fronts as well as support in electoral processes, gender equality, human rights, capacity-building and constitutionalism.

We are pleased that the UK’s strategy for Somalia state-building is widely accepted by experts and non -UK stakeholders, including the UN, and is now being followed by other international actors, demonstrating the UK’s leadership role in Somalia. Having an SRSG and UNSOM Head hailing from the UK, represents an important opportunity in solidifying and consolidating all the state-building gains achieved thus far in Somalia.

In her new role, Somalis can count on Ms. Laing to help promote state- building through UN -led initiatives that align with UK’s overall goals and mirrors Somalia’s reform agenda. Having served in key diplomatic posts in a number of African countries and internationally, Ms. Laing brings vast experience in international relations and diplomacy that will be crucial in Somalia’s state-building arena.

We are confident that through her new post, Ms. Laing will work diligently to help build a more peaceful, stable and prosperous Somalia. We look forward to working with her as we move to build a stable and prosperous future for Somalia.

Deeq S Yusuf
(Deeq is a British Somali Social Scientist based in Mogadishu, Somalia)