UN chief appoints South Africa’s Nicholas Haysom as Somalia envoy

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday named South African lawyer Nicholas Haysom as new envoy to Somalia.

Mr Haysom, who will take over the role from Briton Michael Keating on 1 October, will also become the new head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia.

The South African is currently the UN special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, a post he has held since 2016.

He also served as the special UN envoy to Afghanistan and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) from 2014 to 2016.

Mr. Haysom, a father of five, holds law degrees from Cape Town and Natal universities, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Cape Town University in 2012.

From 1999 to 2002, he was involved in Burundian peace talks as chair of the committee negotiating constitutional issues.

“He was the principal adviser to the mediator in the Sudanese peace process from 2002 to 2005,” Mr Guterres’ press office said.

He specialises in democratic governance, constitutional and electoral reforms, reconciliation and peace processes, according to the UN.

As the top UN official in Somalia, Mr Haysom will be in charge of leading the world body’s efforts in Somalia, a country dealing with the impact of decades of civil war, along with political and humanitarian challenges .

Farah Yussuf is a Digital Reporter with Star FM Kenya. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Masinde Muliro University.

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