Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, on Wednesday appointed Francisco Caetano Jose Madeira, of Mozambique, as the Special Representative for Somalia and Head of AMISOM, in replacement of Maman Sambo Sidikou of Niger, said an AU statement on Thursday.
Since 2010, Madeira has been serving as the AU Special Representative for Counter-Terrorism Cooperation and Director of the Algiers-based African Centre on the Study and Research on Terrorism.
Francisco Madeira also served as Ambassador of Mozambique to several African countries from 1984 to 1989, and diplomatic advisor at the presidency.
He has contributed to several peace processes on the African continent, and served different other posts of Mozambican Government, according to the statement.
The appointment of the new Head of AMISOM comes at a time when AU is attempting to expedite the stabilization of Somalia, so as to pave the way for the successful holding of general elections in 2016, said the statement.
Given his experience in counter-terrorism, Madeira is expected to give a new impetus to the campaign to neutralize al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups, building on the tremendous achievements made by AMISOM over the past few years, in particular with the recovery of many of the major cities and other strategic locations of south-central Somalia, said the statement. Enditem