The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, on 23 November 2013, appointed the leadership team of the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (AFISM-CAR), following consultations with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
In this regard, Major General (Rtd) Jean Marie Michel Mokoko, of the Republic of Congo, has been appointed Special Representative in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Head of AFISM-CAR.
General Mokoko has a long and rich experience in the field of peace and security. He held the position of Chief of Staff of the Congolese Armed Forces, between 1987 and 1993, and that of Peace and Security Advisor to the President of the Republic of Congo. He also served as the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU in Côte d’Ivoire for the period 2006 to 2007.
General Mokoko is a graduate of the Special Military School (ESM) of Saint-Cyr-Quoëtquidan and Staff College in France. Until this appointment, General Mokoko was the AU Deputy High Representative for Mali and the Sahel. The AFISM-CAR Deputy Special Representative will be appointed shortly.
Brigadier General Martin Tumenta Chomu, of the Republic of Cameroon, has been appointed Force Commander of AFISM-CAR.
General Tumenta Chomu served as commander of Military Zone and held other important functions in the Cameroonian Army. He is a graduate of Staff College in the United States (Ft. Levenworth) and War College in France. The Deputy Force Commander will be Brigadier-General Athanases Kararuza of Burundi.
Colonel of Gendarmerie Patrice Ostangue Bengone, of the Republic of Gabon, has been appointed Head of the AFISM-CAR Police component. Colonel Bengone graduated from the National School of Gendarmerie in Owendo, Gabon. He attended training and career development courses in various other schools, particularly in France and Morocco. The position of Deputy Head of the Police component will be occupied by Police Chief Superintendent Don Deogracias Ndong Nguema of Equatorial Guinea.
These appointments are part of the joint AU and ECCAS efforts towards the effective operationalization of AFISM-CAR. The AU and ECCAS are working closely together to ensure successful transition from the ECCAS Peace Consolidation Mission in the CAR (MICOPAX) to AFISM-CAR. The transfer of authority is scheduled for 19 December 2013.
The Chairperson of the Commission takes this opportunity to reiterate the AU’s appeal to the United Nations to extend all necessary support to AFISM-CAR to enable it to effectively discharge its mandate and to create conditions conducive for enhanced international support to the long-term stabilization and reconstruction of the CAR. She thanks the international partners who have already expressed their commitment to support AFISM-CAR.
The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates her appreciation to the leaders of the region, especially President Idriss Deby Itno, Chairman of ECCAS, and President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who chairs the ECCAS Follow-up Committee on the CAR, for their commitment to the promotion of peace, security and stability in the CAR.