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The SGNU officially appoints Mr. Staffan de Mistura as new personal envoy for the Moroccan Sahara

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The SGNU officially appoints Mr. Staffan de Mistura as new personal envoy for the Moroccan Sahara

Mr. De Mistura has served the organization in several sensitive and difficult positions, including as UNSG Special Envoy to Syria

PRETORIA, South Africa, October 7, 2021 / APO Group / –

Italian-Swiss diplomat Staffan de Mistura has been officially appointed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres as his new personal envoy for the Moroccan Sahara.

The Moroccan Sahara conflict has lasted for more than 43 years, and the dialogue moderated by the UN has traditionally led to new differences and mutual mistrust.

Mr De Mistura will succeed former envoy Horst Kohler, who resigned on May 22, 2019 for health reasons.

Mr. De Mistura has 40 years of experience in diplomacy and political affairs, particularly in the area of ​​conflict management and resolution.

A seasoned UN diplomat, De Mistura has held the organization in a number of sensitive and difficult positions, including as UNSG special envoy to Syria.

Mr. De Mistura has held several other positions, including that of Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan and Iraq, Personal Representative of the Secretary-General for Southern Lebanon and Director of the United Nations Information Center in Rome.

In addition to Syria, the diplomat has also served as the UN focal point in various conflict zones, including Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia, among others.

Apart from his career at the UN, Mr. De Mistura was also Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and subsequently Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in Italy.

Fluent in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish, as well as (colloquial) Arabic, the diplomat will have to tackle one of the most complicated files in the world. .

The Moroccan Sahara conflict has been going on for more than 43 years, and the UN-assisted dialogue between the conflicting parties has mainly led to further differences and mutual mistrust.

After months of renewed hopes around a “new momentum” between 2017-2019, the political process led by the UN was frozen for more than two years after the resignation of Kohler, who was able to summon the warring parties for peace talks around two round tables in Geneva.

Parties to the conflict – Morocco, Mauritania, the pseudo-Polisario and Algeria, had all expressed satisfaction with Kohler’s approach at the time, and the mood at the UN was largely optimistic about it. the outcome of the political process of the Moroccan Sahara.

But Mr Kohler’s resignation killed the long-awaited new impetus, and the resumption of hostilities in Guerguerat late last year appears to have widened the existing chasm of mistrust.

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