H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Government of Somalia, today welcomed Dr Augustine Mahiga, former Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of UNPOS, to Villa Somalia for the final time.
At a press conference with Dr Mahiga, the President said:
"Today we bid a fond farewell to a friend. A friend who stood beside us through thick and thin. A friend who never gave up, and who, with calm, steely determination, helped us to steer Somalia through four years of political and security transformation.
"I consider Ambassador Mahiga a personal friend, but he is a friend to all Somalis. I am privileged to know him, and I know that when the history books are written, Dr Mahiga's contribution to Somalia’s revival will be saluted and applauded.
Along with a Certificate of Honour, the President gave Dr Mahiga a set of traditional clothes as worn by the Somali Elders, complete with the traditional Baat (shield) and
"Dr Mahiga was the author of the Road Map. And whilst some may have doubted its capacity to deliver peaceful transition at the time, it was this Road Map and its determination to host the dialogue that brought Somalis together, that has helped to deliver us to where we are at today.
"His intellect and his qualities of patience, tolerance, good humour and respect will be greatly missed.
"He believed in Somalia when many were prepared to give up. He chaired endless Conferences and Assemblies knowing that it was the sum of all their parts that mattered in the long term. He set his goal with the Somali people and with the region, and delivered the peaceful transition that so many thought unlikely.
"He has set Somalia on a true course to recovery and we promise that we will continue the work that he has begun with the same belief and determination. I thank Dr Mahiga on behalf of a grateful nation."
Somali news leader