Thursday, November 01, 2012
By JEREMIAH KIPLANG’AT
The Africa Union has appointed a new head of its mission in Somalia.
Mr Mahamat Saleh Annadif, from Chad, is also the commission’s new special representative to the war-torn country.
The new head of AU Mission in Somalia (Amisom) will oversee the ongoing peace activities spearheaded by forces from Eastern African states including Kenya.
“Mr Annadif has an extensive diplomatic experience. Before this appointment, Mr Annadif held several ministerial portfolios in his country, including Foreign Affairs.
"He also served as the Head of the AU Permanent Delegation in Brussels. He will shortly take over his new assignment in Mogadishu” said the AU dispatch to newsrooms.
Mr Annadif is taking over the leadership of Amisom against the background of tremendous progress in the Somalia peace and reconciliation process.
Together with the Somali authorities, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad), the United Nations and other stakeholders, he will assist in consolidating the achievements made, in line with the priorities outlined by the Somali authorities.
He will also focus on the review of Amisom and its mandate, which will be launched shortly with a view to taking stock of the work done to date and making recommendations on how best the mission can continue to support the Somali authorities and stakeholders.
This is in light of the gains made and the positive changes that occurred on the ground.
Mr Annadif takes over from Ambassador Boubacar Gaoussou Diarra, from Mali, who has been nominated as Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region.
Kenya Defence Forces formally joined Amisom in March, almost seven months after starting its own pacification of Southern Somalia.
KDF recently captured the port town of Kismayu after battling with Al Shabaab, the terrorist group occupying the town, for several months.