Chairperson receives UNAMID Deputy Joint Special Representative
February 12, 2011
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Jean Ping, today, 12 February 2011, in his office at AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, received a high-level delegation from the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), headed by Deputy Joint Special Representative (DJSR), Mr. Mohammed Yonis. The delegation had been earlier received by the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, Mr. Erastus Mwencha. During both meetings, DJSR Yonis formally introduced to the AUC leadership the newly appointed Director of the UNAMID Joint Support and Coordination Mechanism (JSCM), based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Ambassador Abiodun Bashua.
In his introductory remarks, the Deputy Joint Special Representative requested the Chairperson to use his good offices to facilitate the work of Mr. Bashua and underscored the importance of the Joint Support and Coordination Mechanism by recalling its origins in the joint report of the Chairperson and the UN Secretary-General of 5 June 2007, which served as the basis for the establishment of UNAMID, through UN Security Council Resolution 1769 of 31 July 2007.
Mr. Yonis stated that it is because of the importance attached to the work of the JSCM by the UN, the AU and the Government of Sudan, that UNAMID has deployed one of its most senior officers to head the office. The DJSR described the new JSCM Director as a strategic thinker and a consummate political analyst, who will reinvigorate the JSCM to deliver on its core mandate.
Welcoming the delegation, the Chairperson expressed his satisfaction that a senior and able diplomat has been appointed to lead the JSCM, adding that the AU and UN are joint partners in the quest for a durable peace in Darfur. He called on Ambassador Bashua to execute his duties with vigor and a high sense of dedication in close collaboration with his AU colleagues.
Speaking earlier, Ambassador Bashua assured the Chairperson of his determination to enhance and facilitate the joint AU-UN strategic partnership, citing among his priorities, the establishment of weekly briefings between the AU and the JSCM in order to keep the organization abreast of evolving events and activities in the political, military, police, civilian and humanitarian operations of UNAMID.
Ambassador Bashua seized the opportunity to thank the UNAMID Joint Special Representative, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, for giving him the honor and opportunity to continue serving the people of Darfur through the JSCM and promised to discharge his duties with diligence, devotion to duty and loyalty to the African Union and the United Nations.
The new Director of JSCM brings to the position 35 years of experience as a career diplomat and international civil servant at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He has also served as senior peacekeeping policy specialist in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire and prior to his latest appointment, was Director of the UNAMID Political Affairs Department in El Fasher, North Darfur.