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Council appoints EU Special Representative to the Horn of Africa

By European Council
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BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, December 8, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Council today appointed Mr Alexander Rondos as EU Special Representative to the Horn of Africa.

The task of the Special Representative is to actively contribute to regional and international

efforts to achieve lasting peace, security and development in the region comprising

Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda. The Council

has asked the Special Representative to initially focus on Somalia and the regional

dimensions of the conflict there, as well as on piracy, which has its root causes in the

instability of Somalia.

High Representative Catherine Ashton commented: "I look forward to working closely

with Alexander Rondos, whose vast experience of the region makes him an excellent choice

for this vital role. The recent adoption of the strategic framework for the Horn of Africa

shows our determination to do all we can to help achieve lasting peace, security and

development in the region. This is a priority for the European Union."

Mr. Alexander Rondos is a Greek diplomat with extensive experience in diplomatic

negotiations around the world. He has held senior posts in the Greek Prime Minister's

office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as in the World Bank. He has extensive

understanding of Eastern African politics, having worked there on several occasions during

his career.

The appointment of a Special Representative forms part of a recently adopted EU Strategic

Framework for the Horn of Africa, setting out five priorities for EU action: building robust

and accountable political structures; contributing to conflict resolution and prevention;

mitigating security threats emanating from the region; promoting economic growth, and

supporting regional economic cooperation (16858/11). 18328/11 2

Mr Rondos will work in close consultation with the EU Special Representative for Sudan

and South Sudan, who will continue to lead on those two countries.

Mr Rondos will take office on 1 January 2012. In line with existing procedures, his

mandate runs initially until 30 June 2012, with the expectation of being renewed.