UN Secretary General has announced Ugandan born British citizen Michael Keating and Chatham House Associate Director will replace the outgoing UN Special Envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay whose tenure comes to a close next month.
Keating who has variously served in public and private sectors in senior political, development and humanitarian positions has spent his childhood in Uganda, Kenya, Somalia and Iran.
Between 2011 and 2012, Keating served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General in Afghanistan where he worked with government, civil society and international community including the NATO assistance force, ISAF on elections, reconciliation, and rule of law among others.
Outgoing Somalia special envoy for Somalia Nicholas Kay took office in June 2014 succeeding former envoy Augustine Mahiga. Kay was previously the UK ambassador to Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo besides being the Coordinator for Southern Afghanistan and Head of the Provincial Reconstruction Team for Helmand Province from 2006 to 2007.
Keating comes to office at a crucial time when Somalia is navigating a delicate political process which will culminate into an election in August 2016 when the term of the current administration lapses.
He will also be tasked with working closely with the African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM in bolstering security in the country ahead of the elections.
During Kay’s tenure, Somalia has achieved remarkable progress including the state formation process, development of state structures and preparations for elections.