Mareeg.com-The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, yesterday appointed Dr. Maman S. Sidikou, a Nigerien national, as the new African Union (AU) Special Representative for Somalia (SRCC) and Head of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
This appointment comes at a time when continued progress has been witnessed in the
consolidation of peace and the promotion of reconciliation in Somalia, despite
the challenges that continue to confront the country, as demonstrated by the
recent upsurge of terrorist attacks, particularly in Mogadishu.
Dr Sidikou brings with him a wealth of experience in the political, diplomatic,
communication and humanitarian fields. Prior to his present appointment, Dr
Sidikou has been Niger’s Ambassador to the USA, in Washington D.C. since
October 2011. He has served in Niger’s Government in various senior capacities
from 1976, rising to post of Director of the National Television within the
Ministry of Information, Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister, and Advisor to
the President, with ministerial rank. From 1997 to 1999, he served as Niger’s Minister
of Foreign Affairs and African Integration. In 1999, he served as Chief of
Staff of the President of the Republic.
Dr Sidikou has also worked for a number of international organizations and
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), including USAID, the World Bank, UNICEF
and Save the Children. Dr Sidikou holds a Ph.D from Florida State University,
USA, and a Degree in Journalism from the University of Dakar.The new Special
Envoy will assume duty in early August 2014. He will work closely with the Federal
Government of Somalia (FGS), IGAD and the countries of the region, as well as
with the relevant international partners, including the United Nations, the
European Union (EU), the League of Arab States and concerned bilateral
partners, to help consolidate the gains made in the peace and reconciliation
process in Somalia, and facilitate the successful holding of the elections
planned for 2016. The Chairperson appeals to the FGS and all AMISOM partners to
extend the necessary cooperation and support to the new Special Representative.
Dr Sidikou replaces Amb Mahamat Saleh Annadif, who served as Special
Representative and Head of AMISOM, from November 2012 to June 2014. Under his
leadership, AMISOM made tremendous strides, in support of the efforts of the FGS
and other stakeholders. The Chairperson of the Commission seizes this
opportunity to pay tribute to Amb Annadif for his commitment and the results
achieved during his tenure. She extends her best wishes to him in all his
African Union Commission (AUC)