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Top UN officials in Africa to be reshuffled

6 September 2007 Three top United Nations officials in Africa will switch posts to allow the world body to address issues on the continent, especially in Somalia and the Central African Republic (CAR), it was announced today.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has proposed, in an exchange of letters with the Security Council, that Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, who currently heads the UN Office in West Africa, be appointed as his Special Representative for Somalia. Mr. Ban also suggested upgrading the position to that of Under-Secretary-General.

Meanwhile, the current Special Representative for Somalia François Lonsény Fall would be reassigned to head the UN Peacebuilding Support Office in the CAR. General Lamine Cissé, who now heads that Office, would in turn temporarily be officer-in-charge of the UN Office in West Africa, Mr. Ould Abdallah’s current post.

“These are changes aimed at ensuring that the United Nations is doing its utmost to rise to a number of challenges and opportunities it faces in several key arenas in Africa – particularly Somalia and the Central African Republic,” UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York.

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