United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Haile Menkerios of South Africa as the new Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) and his Special Representative to the African Union at the level of Under-Secretary-General. Mr. Menkerios will also continue his current assignment as the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan.
Mr. Menkerios will replace Mr. Zachary Muburi-Muita who completed his assignment on 30 June 2013.The Secretary-General is grateful to Mr. Muburi-Muita for his dedicated service with UNOAU since its establishment in 2010 and for deepening the African Union-United Nations strategic partnership.
Mr. Menkerios brings to the position extensive experience in African issues and with the United Nations. Prior to his appointment as Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan in July 2011, he was the Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Mission in Sudan since 1 March 2010 and Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs (2007-2010).
He previously served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of Congo (2005-2007), Director of the Africa I Division in the Department of Political Affairs (2003-2005) and Senior Adviser to the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Inter-Congolese Dialogue (2002).
From 1991 to 2000, Mr. Menkerios represented the Government of Eritrea in various capacities, including as Ambassador to Ethiopia and the Organisation of African Unity, Special Envoy to Somalia and also to the Great Lakes region, and as Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
Born in 1946, Mr. Menkerios has a master’s degree from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University.