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Seasoned British peace-building adviser replaces Nicholas Kay as UNSOM head

Storyline:National News

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Ugandan born British citizen Michael Keating as the new special envoy to Somalia to replace Nicholas Kay whose tenure ends next month.

Keating who until his appointment has been an associate director with the British think tank Chatham House has served in various capacities both at the UN and as a consultant in a number of private organisations.

While Associate Director of Chatham House since 2012, he concurrently served as Senior Adviser to the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Syria. He was Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan from 2010 until 2012.

Ban also praised Kay for his dedication, courage and excellent leadership of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia, UNSOM over the past two and half years, a critical period of Somalia’s political transformation.

Goobjoog News this week broke the story exclusive of Keating’s appointment adding that his coming to Somalia happens at a critical period when Somalia is undergoing major political changes as it prepares for elections in 2016.

Having served as Executive Director of the Africa Progress Panel, a policy group chaired by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, his earlier career was divided between assignments with the United Nations, serving in Malawi, Gaza/Jerusalem, New York, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the private sector, working with companies and public sector bodies engaged in environmental, human rights and development issues.

Keating was born in Uganda in 1959 and spent his childhood in Kampala, Nairobi and Somalia.