AU Appoints New Deputy Special Envoy to Somalia

ADDIS ABABA – African Union has appointed Ms. Fiona Lortan as the Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission to Somalia and Deputy Head of Mission.

The appointment was made on Monday – nearly two months after Somalia declared Lortan’s predecessor, Simon Mulongo, persona non grata for allegedly engaging in activities “incompatible with the mandate of AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)”.

Lortan, a South African national, has worked in various roles at the AU after joining the Pan African bloc in May, 2002.

Most recently, the AU said she served as the Acting Director for Conflict Management in the Political Affairs Peace and Security Department (PAPS) and “worked assiduously on AMISOM”.

“Lortan takes a wealth of experience to the position and will play an important role in the transition phase of the African Union’s commitment to ensuring a stable and secure Somalia,” the AU said.

The AUC Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Ambassador Bankole Adeoye underscored the importance of the next few months for the Mission whose mandate will end on March 31, 2022.

“I would like to thank Ms. Fiona Lortan, for accepting the role as Deputy SRCC during this interim period,” Adeoye said.

Among many other tasks, “she will work to help the African Union to deliver on all that is required to end AMISOM and follow through on ongoing preparations for the mandate, composition, size, and structure of a proposed new mission in Somalia,” he explained.

Lortan has a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Philosophy degrees in Social and Political Theory from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa and the University of Cambridge, UK.

She previously served in Khartoum, Sudan, as a member of the AU High Level Implementation Panel on Sudan and South Sudan, headed by former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki.


Featured Image Caption: Lortan (pictured) appointed nearly two months after Somalia declared her predecessor, Simon Mulongo, persona non grata. [Photo AU]