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By Godfrey Olukya   30-10-2012

The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union  Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has  appointed the former President of the Republic of Burundi, Mr. Pierre Buyoya, as the AU High Representative for Mali and the Sahel.

The decision follows the announcement made recently by Dr. Dlamini-Zuma during a  meeting of the Peace and Security Council at AU headquarters in Ethiopia ithat she would soon announce a representative to Mali.

Supported by the Office that the AU intends to establish very soon in Bamako, the High Representative will have as his main task the enhancement of the AU’s contribution to the ongoing efforts to address the situation in the northern part of Mali and complete the process to resolve fully the institutional crisis.

He will endeavor to ensure a closer coordination with ECOWAS and the countries of the region, including the core countries, as well as with the international partners. In so doing, he will assist in addressing the multifaceted challenges confronting the Sahel region, with particular emphasis on the coordination of efforts aimed at dealing with the root causes of the crises facing Mali.

The implementation of the AU strategy for security and development in the Sahel region is also included in the mandate of the High Representative.

Mr. Pierre Buyoya was the President of the Republic of Burundi from 1987 to 1993 and from 1996 to 2003, and has a vast experience in conflict management and resolution.

Since 2009,  Buyoya has been a member of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) on Sudan and South Sudan. He will assume his function as High Representative concurrently with his responsibilities as member of the AUHIP.

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