Second African woman moves into top UN post in DR Congo


Guinean Bintou Keita takes over the top position at the UN mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) next month when another African, Leila Zerrougui, exits.

Keita’s official title is special representative of the UN Secretary General in DRC and head of the UN stabilisation mission – MONUSCO.

Keita brings to the position more than 30 years’ experience in peace, security, development, humanitarian and human rights, working in conflict and post-conflict environments.  Since January 2019 she served as UN assistant secretary-general for Africa in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations and previously was assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations between November 2017 and December 2018.

From 2015 to 2017, she served as UN deputy joint special representative for the AU-UN hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID).  She previously led UN efforts fighting Ebola as Ebola crisis manager for Sierra Leone between February and November 2015.  From 2007 to 2010 she was deputy executive representative of the Secretary-General for the UN Integrated Office in Burundi.

Keita joined the UN in 1989, serving in several senior management and leadership functions with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Chad, the Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Cape Verde, Rwanda and Burundi as well as New York.