The new Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) brings many years of both government and UN experience, including in conflict management, mediation, and humanitarian and recovery/development activities.
“Mr. Mahiga has lengthy and pertinent experience in the Horn of Africa and other parts of the continent, which will be invaluable in his new position,” according to a news release announcing his appointment.
Prior to representing the Tanzanian Government at the UN, Mr. Mahiga worked in various capacities at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
His roles included serving as Chief of Mission to Liberia, Coordinator and Deputy Director of the humanitarian and refugee crisis in the Great Lakes Region, and UNHCR Representative in India, Italy, Malta, the Holy See and the Republic of San Marino.
Mr. Mahiga succeeds Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah of Mauritania, who has served as the UN’s envoy for Somalia since September 2007 and helped facilitate the Djibouti Peace Agreement, on which current peace and reconciliation efforts in the country are based.
The Secretary-General acknowledged Mr. Ould-Abdallah for his work on the recently adopted Istanbul Declaration that serves “as a political pact between the international community and the Somali people on political, security, development and reconstruction issues.”
The Declaration was the culmination of a three-day international conference in May that was co-hosted by the UN and Turkey, a year after a similar summit was held in Brussels.
SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS NEW SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR SOMALIA
- The Secretary-General today announced the appointment of Augustine P. Mahiga of the United Republic of Tanzania as his Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS). Mr. Mahiga replaces Mr. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, of Mauritania, who has served in the position from September 2007.
- Mr. Mahiga brings to this position many years of both Government and United Nations experience. Since 2003, Mr. Mahiga has served as the Republic of Tanzania’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.
- The Secretary-General expresses his deep appreciation to Mr. Ould-Abdallah for his dedicated service and exemplary leadership on Somalia over the last three years. During his tenure, Mr. Ould-Abdallah has worked hard to bring international attention to Somalia – one of the world’s worst humanitarian and political crises.