UNITED NATIONS, United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has announced that he is appointing former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo as a special envoy to Liberia to support a peaceful transfer of power to a democratically-elected president in the West African nation.
Another former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan is at present in the country, at the head of an election monitoring group.
Guterres, who announced Obasanjo’s appointment as an envoy here Wednesday through his spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, also welcomed the peaceful conduct of the second round of the presidential election in Liberia on Tuesday to decide between Vice-President Joseph Boakai and George Weah, the former football star turned senator.
This would be Liberia’s first peaceful transfer of power from one democratically-elected leader to another in more than 70 years. The new president will succeed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has been in power for the past 12 years during which she consolidated peace following two civil wars in the country.
The Secretary-General hopes that the will of the Liberian electorate will be respected and that a seamless transfer of power will take place within constitutional timelines, Dujarric said.
He added that Guterres had requested Obasanjo, who is a member of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation, to travel to the Liberian capital, Monrovia, from Thursday to Saturday.
The first round of elections in the west African country was held in October but no clear winner emerged. A runoff was originally scheduled for November, but was delayed following allegations of voter irregularities by a third candidate.
Obasanjo is one of 18 global leaders, senior officials and experts on the high-level board created earlier this year to advise the Secretary-General on mediation and back those efforts around the world. The former Nigerian president has been involved in mediation efforts in Angola, Burundi, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa, among other places.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK