Mogadishu(Mogadishu24)-United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday announced the appointment of James Swan, as the Acting Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).

This appointment comes as Catriona Laing of the United Kingdom steps down from the role. Guterres expressed his gratitude to Laing for her dedicated efforts during a particularly challenging period in Somalia.

Swan brings extensive experience in African politics and conflict resolution to the position, having previously served as the Special Representative for Somalia from 2019 to 2022. His diplomatic career includes roles such as U.S. Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to Djibouti, as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

Swan, who holds degrees from Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and the National War College, is well-prepared to lead UNSOM’s efforts in supporting Somalia’s ongoing political transitions. He is fluent in both English and French.

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