UN envoy hails state-building efforts in Somalia
MOGADISHU – Special Representative of UN Secretary-General for Somalia James Swan arrives in Mogadishu
The recently appointed Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary – General (SRSG) for Somalia and Head of Mission for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), James Swan, arrived in Mogadishu on 25 June to take up his duties.
Senior officials from the Federal Government of Somalia and the United Nations welcomed Mr. Swan during a brief ceremony held at Mogadishu’s Aden Abdulle International Airport.
The State Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdulkadir Ahmed-Kheir Abdi, represented the Federal Government at the ceremony and extended a warm welcome on behalf of the people of Somalia.
Mr. Swan, who is a national of the United States, said he was eager to work with Somali authorities and international partners to fulfil UNSOM’s mandate and help to coordinate state-building efforts in Somalia. “I am honoured to be back to Somalia in this new capacity as Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNSOM. I have spent many years working on Somalia in different capacities. But I am eager to hear what the situation is currently and consult widely with leaders and the people. We in the UN community look forward to working very closely with you to make progress here in Somalia,” he said.
SRSG Swan attended his first meeting with Federal President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo” on 27 June at his offices in Villa Somalia.
Mr. Swan is a career diplomat with extensive experience working in sub-Saharan Africa, where he most recently served as U.S.
Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2013 until 2016, the U.S. Special Representative for Somalia during 2011-2013, and U.S. Ambassador to Djibouti from 2008 to 2011.
He also was Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Africa Affairs of the U.S.
Department of State in 2007-2008.
Serving the people of Somalia His first assignment to Somalia occurred 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.
He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, a Master of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, and a master’s degree in National Security Studies from the National Defense University’s National War College, where he was designated as a distinguished graduate.