Modibo Touré of Mali, a veteran United Nations humanitarian official, was today appointed as new director of the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), succeeding Martin Barber who retires at the end of July.
Mr. Touré, who served most recently as UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ethiopia, joined the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in 1990, where for more than a decade he held various posts throughout Africa, including as Special Adviser for the agency's regional Bureau for Africa.
The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) appointed Mr. Touré to head up the 8-year-old Service, which collaborates with 13 other UN departments, agencies, programmes and funds to ensure an effective, proactive and coordinated response to the problems of landmines, explosives and other remnants of war. Mr. Barber, a British national, has headed the service since 2000.
UNMAS sets up and manages mine-action coordination centres in countries and territories as part of peacekeeping operations and humanitarian emergencies or crises. It currently oversees and manages programmes in Afghanistan, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Ethiopia/Eritrea Temporary Security Zone, southern Lebanon, and Sudan.