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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Former minister heads for Sudan

Hilde Frafjord Johnson, a former government minister in Norway who’s most recently been the deputy leader of Unicef, is being appointed as new leader of the United Nations’ work in Southern Sudan.

Hilde Frafjord Johnson PHOTO: Unicef

Newspaper Aftenposten reports that Norway’s ambassador to the UN, Morten Wetland, confirmed that he’s been told Johnson was to be appointed to the UN’s top post in Southern Sudan by UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon, as soon as the UN Security Council handled its mandate for the area. She’ll be his special envoy to the the southern portion of the country divided after years of war.

Johnson, who was born in Tanzania, was a longtime politician for the Christian Democrats party in Norway and a Member of Parliament until she became the government minister in charge of foreign aid from Norway.

She went to work for the United Nations after the Christian Democrats suffered some miserable elections and played a decisive role in the peace talks that finally ended Sudan’s civil war in 2005. She has maintained a keen interest in developments in Sudan and published a book earlier this year entitled “Waging peace in Sudan,” billed as giving the “inside story” on the negotiations that ended Africa’s longest civil war in history.

Johnson has urged more international political pressure to prevent further conflicts in the war-torn region. She faces a tough job, coordinating humanitarian aid and trying to maintain the relative peace she was part of creating.

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