Ban Ki-moon appoints #UK diplomat Michael Keating as special representative for #Somalia
New York (Xinhua + DIPLOMAT.SO) – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday announced the appointment of Michael Keating of the United Kingdom as his new special representative for Somalia.
Keating is also appointed as the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), and will succeed Nicholas Kay of the United Kingdom who will complete his assignment at the end of the year.
Keating once served as the Secretary-General’s deputy special representative for Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012, and also served as senior advisor to the secretary-general’s special envoy to Syria.
“Mr. Keating brings to this position extensive experience in supporting political and peacebuilding transitions, as well as leading complex humanitarian and recovery programmes in Afghanistan, the Middle East, and Africa,” UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told a daily briefing.
In July, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of UNSOM until March 2016 to support political process in Somalia. The mission was established in 2013 to provide the United Nations “good offices” function and a range of strategic policy advice in support of the Somali government’s peace and reconciliation process.
Somalia has faced threats from the Al-Qaida linked group Al-Shabaab. The group is battling to topple the Somali federal government and has carried out waves of attacks in the country and in the neighboring Kenya.