Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today appointed Aurélien Agbenonci of Benin and Laurence D. Wohlers of the United States as his Deputy Special Representatives at the newly-created United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
Mr. Agbenonci has worked on conflict, development and governance issues throughout Africa, including as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Rwanda from 2008 to 2011 and in the Republic of the Congo from 2003 to 2008. Most recently, he was the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Mali from 2012 to 2013.
He is joined on the political side by Mr. Wohlers, who has extensive experience in international affairs, specializing in conflict management, governance and cross-cultural communication. Prior to his appointment, he served as the US Ambassador to CAR from 2010 to 2013.
He has served in numerous diplomatic postings across Africa, Asia and Europe, as well as in Washington D.C., including as Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the US Mission to the European Union in Brussels from 2006 to 2008 and Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the US Embassy in Moscow from 2003 to 2006.
On 10 April, the UN Security Council approved the establishment of MINUSCA, which will be a nearly 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping operation focusing on the protection of civilians and facilitating humanitarian access in war-torn CAR.
The new mission will take over the responsibilities of the African-led International Support Mission, known as MISCA, and, as from 15 September 2014, will initially comprise up to 10,000 military personnel, including 240 military observers and 200 staff officers, as well as 1,800 police personnel, including 1,400 formed police unit personnel and 400 individual police officers, and 20 corrections officers.