By Tiamiyu Arobani
New York – Nigeria’s Dr Martin Uhomoibhi has bowed out as the Joint Special Representative for Darfur and Head of the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), UN Secretary-General António Guterres has announced.
UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Uhomoibhi was appointed in October 2015 by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and AU Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
The former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, replaced fellow Nigerian, Abiodun Bashua.
As the UN-AU Joint Special Representative for Darfur, both Uhomoibhi and Bashua had responsibilities including those of Joint Chief Mediator.
Guterres and AU Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced on Thursday the appointment of Jeremiah Mamabolo of South Africa as Acting Joint Special Representative for Darfur and Head of the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).
“Mamabolo succeeds Martin Uhomoibhi of Nigeria, to whom the Secretary-General and the Commission Chairperson are grateful for his service during his tenure with UNAMID,” a statement issued by the Secretary-General said.
“The new AU-UN envoy brings to the position first-hand experience in dealing with the situation in Darfur, as well as expertise from his distinguished career in the diplomatic service.
“Since 2016, he has been serving UNAMID as Deputy Joint Special Representative for Pillar I, overseeing political, human rights, and legal aspects of the Mission’s activities.”
From 2013 to 2016, he served as Permanent Representative of South Africa to the UN, during which he also acted as Chair of the “Group of 77′ developing countries and China.
In 2009, he was appointed High Commissioner of South Africa to Nigeria.
Previously, Mamabolo facilitated peace processes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi as his country’s Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region from 2006 to 2009.
He also served as Deputy Director-General for African Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2002 to 2006.
Mamabolo held other senior positions, such as the Permanent Representative to the AU, accredited also to Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti from 1999 to 2002.
During that time, he led efforts to promote dialogue in post-war Sierra Leone in his capacity as Special Envoy of the AU to Sierra Leone and the Mano River Basin from 2001 to 2002.
He also served as High Commissioner to Zimbabwe from 1995 to 1999.
Mamabolo holds a Master’s degree in public administration from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and a diploma in journalism from Harare Polytechnic College, Zimbabwe.
Born in 1955, he is married and has four children.