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New UN envoy for Haiti in juggle of top posts

By Staff
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Google Oneindia News

UNITED NATIONS, July 27 (Reuters) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today appointed a new top envoy for Haiti in shuffling posts of two veteran officials in the UN peacekeeping department.

Hedi Annabi, a Tunisian, will go to Haiti to head the UN mission there. Annabi, 63, who joined the world body in 1981, is currently the UN assistant secretary-general in the peacekeeping department in charge of operations, including the new joint United Nations-African Union force for Darfur.

Ban had put Annabi on a list in February of UN officials who had been with the organization for many years and should retire but he did not name a replacement.

Jean-Marie Guehenno, the head of peacekeeping, fought to keep Annabi as long as feasible, UN officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Annabi swaps jobs with Edmond Mulet of Guatemala, who is now head of the Haiti mission that includes 7,200 troops and 1,500 police to help keep the peace in the Caribbean nation.

Mullet, a lawyer and former journalist, was a lawmaker for 12 years in Guatemala and served as ambassador to the European Union and the United States.

At the same time, Ban gave a promotion to Dimitri Titov of Russia, the head of the Africa peacekeeping division, which handles 80 percent of the more than 100,000 military and civilian personnel fielded around the world in eight missions.

That division will be split into two units.

Titov was appointed assistant secretary-general for the rule of law and security sector reform in the peacekeeping department, making him the highest-ranking Russian at New York headquarters.

Moscow heads the UN center in Geneva but does not have a top post in the New York bureaucracy, as do other permanent UN Security Council members.

Although Titov, who has been in the peacekeeping department since 1991, does not have a legal or human rights background, he has played a key role in developing these programs in all UN missions, a UN statement said.

His position is a new one approved by the General Assembly last month as part of Ban's restructuring, which divided the peacekeeping department into two entities.

Titov has a degree in international relations and was in the Russian diplomatic service, where he participated in negotiations in Afghanistan, Cyprus, Cambodia and Central America.

Reuters BJR VP0337

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