Press Releases

In Memory of Hannah Yilma

Former Director of the United Nations Information Centre Pretoria

(31 May 1943 – 13 August 2018)

It is with great sadness, that the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) announces the passing away of Ms. Hannah Yilma, who served as Director of UNIC Pretoria from 2000 to 2005.

Born in Ethiopia, Hannah Yilma retired in Pretoria after a UN career in both peacekeeping and communication.

She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from the Haile Selassie I University in Ethiopia and was employed in the private sector for 15 years. In 1991. Hannah joined the UN as an Information Officer in the Department of Public Information. She then participated in two field missions; the UN Protective Force (UNPROFOR) in the former Yugoslavia, from 1994 to 1995, and the UN Observer Mission to South Africa (UNOMSA), from 1992-1994, as Civil Affairs Officer and Peace Observer, respectively.

Prior to her final posting in South Africa, she served as a Political Affairs officer in the Situation Centre in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations from 1995-1998 and then held the post of Associate Spokesman in the Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General (at that time, Kofi Annan) from 1998 to 2000.

She retired as the Director of the UN Information Centre Pretoria in 2005 and chose to stay on in Pretoria.   Hannah remained actively involved in various capacities in non-governmental work, as well as in the diplomatic corps in South Africa. Hannah Yilma left a lasting and meaningful legacy and the United Nations in South Africa salutes her remarkable life.