Ambassador Joseph Mutaboba, the newly appointed UN Special Envoy to Guinea-Bissau has reported to the West African country to help with its post-election security, weeks after his appointment.
Mutaboba, who was appointed recently by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, was received by Guinea-Bissau’s Prime Minister, Carlos Gomes Junior after his arrival on Saturday, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua. He is the fifth UN envoy there.
The presence of the new UN special envoy will facilitate Guinea-Bissau’s defence reform and security, according to the Guinean Premier.
Guinea-Bissau has witnessed long-standing instability since 1974. The country last foiled a coup attempt in November 2008 after the legislative election.
The botched coup attempt highlighted the need to reform Guinea-Bissau’s army, which involved in a series of coups, mutinies and a civil war between 1998 and 1999.
A census funded by the UN indicated recently that the army was heavily burdened with many soldiers and commanders in their 60s refusing to retire in fear of losing privileges.
Mutaboba’s predecessors included Sinkan Nana, David Stephen, Joao Bernardo Honwana and Omorigie Shola.
Mutaboba has had a long diplomatic career and prior to his appointment as UN envoy, he had served in Rwanda as the President’s Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region.
He particularly participated in the successful talks between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which resulted into the current joint operations to uproot remnants of the Ex-FAR Interahamwe under FDLR from the eastern part of DRC, which he cited as his greatest achievement.
He also served as a Secretary General (Permanent Secretary) of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Internal Security respectively.
During an earlier interview, following his appointment, he had said that his new job would offer him an opportunity to face new challenges.