Rugwabiza is new top UN staffer in CAR

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United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has a new Special Representative for the Central African Republic (CAR) and Head of the UN Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission there (MINUSCA).

She is Rwandan Valentine Rugwabiza who brings more than 30 years’ experience on African development and security to the CAR post.

Rugwabiza worked in the public and private sectors as Cabinet Minister, a senior diplomat accredited to several countries and organisations as well as a senior leader in national, regional and multilateral entities.  She served as Rwanda’s permanent UN representative and non-resident ambassador to Colombia and Jamaica.  From 2014 to 2016, she was Minister of East African Community Affairs and a Member of the East African Legislative Assembly.  From 2013 to 2014, she served as Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board and Cabinet Minister.

From 2005 to 2013, Rugwabiza was the Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva.  Prior to that she was Rwanda’s permanent representative at the UN Office in Geneva and UN specialised agencies, as well as ambassador to Switzerland from 2002 to 2005.

She succeeds Mankeur Ndiaye of Senegal who led the MINUSCA since 2019.  Guterres expressed his thanks for Ndiaye’s service to the people of CAR during “a turbulent and critical period in its history”.  His leadership was instrumental in MINUSCA’s support of and for the 2020/21 general election in the landlocked country.