Guterres Nominates Former Algerian FM to Head UN Mission in Libya

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The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres has reportedly nominated former Algerian Foreign Minister, Sabri Boukadoum to Head the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), a document by the Arab League revealed.

The document noted that Guterres informed the members of the UN Security Council of his nomination of Boukadoum. Their confirmation and approval of the decision are due no later than today, Friday.

The position of UNSMIL Head has been vacant since the resignation of Jan Kubis in November. Meanwhile the Adviser to the UN Secretary-General to Libya, Stephanie Williams is preparing to leave her position on 30 June.

The naming of the Algerian diplomat was proposed after intensive discussions with the United Nations to push for the selection of an African candidate for the post of the UN mission.

The Africa Intelligence website reported this week that the African Union has sent a list of four candidates to Guterres for the position of UNSMIL Head.

The website confirmed that in early June that the AU submitted a list of potential candidates to Guterres, including former Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail. He had worked for some time in the office of former President, Omar Al-Bashir, and served as Sudan’s Ambassador to the United Nations in Brussels.

Among the candidates put forward is former Mauritanian Foreign Minister Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. He is now Chief of Staff to the Mauritanian President, taking up this position in April.

Ghanaian diplomat, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the United Nations Special Representative for West Africa from 2014-2021 has also been rumoured to be among the candidates. He is now the mediator in Guinea for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The final candidate is Maman Sambo Sidikou from Niger. He is the former Head of the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and has been the African Union’s representative in Mali and the Sahel since 2021. This is after his role as Executive Secretary of the Five Sahel Group.