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09/02/10

Haile Menkerios (R) discussed the political stand-off with Mr Mugabe

Haile Menkerios (born October 1, 1946) is a former Eritrean diplomat and currently the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Sudan and the head of the AMIS.

Studying in the United States, Menkerios earned a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and a master’s degree from Harvard University. During the period from 1991 to 2000, Menkerios was Eritrea’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and the Organisation of African Unity, its Special Envoy to Somalia and the African Great Lakes region, and was Eritrea’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Later, as Senior Adviser to Moustapha Niasse, the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General to the Inter-Congolese Dialogue, he assisted Niasse in the mediation process that led to the Global and All-Inclusive Agreement, which was signed on December 17, 2002 and marked the end of the Congolese Civil War.

At the UN, he was Director of the Africa I Division in the Department of Political Affairs from June 2003 to June 2005.

Haile Menkerios (left) talking to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

On September 26, 2005, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced his appointment as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo; he assumed this post in October 2005. Subsequently, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced his appointment as UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs on May 16, 2007, and he assumed this post on July 1, 2007.

On June 5, 2008, the United Nations announced that it was sending Menkerios to Zimbabwe to discuss how the UN could assist in the electoral process leading to the second round of Zimbabwe’s presidential election. At the UN food summit in Rome a few days earlier, Ban had suggested to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe the idea of sending Menkerios to Zimbabwe and Mugabe agreed.

Menkerios was sent to Madagascar in February 2009 to help resolve a political crisis there. He met separately with President Marc Ravalomanana and opposition leader Andry Rajoelina on February 9, and both of them agreed to engage in dialogue