Leadership

Mr. Said Djinnit

Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region

(1 September 2014 to 31 March 2019)

In this capacity, he led and coordinated the United Nations efforts in support of the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the region (“Framework Agreement”), signed in February 2013 in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia. Working in co-operation with the other Guarantors of the Framework Agreement, namely the AU, ICGLR and SADC, Said Djinnit supported and promoted regional efforts to curb the activities of the illegal armed groups and initiatives aimed at addressing the root causes of conflicts in eastern DRC and the region, including addressing the illicit exploitation and trade of natural resources, fighting impunity, promoting the role of women and strengthening the contribution of the private sector in peace efforts.

Further to the decision of the leaders of the region in 2017, he facilitated, together with the AU Special Representative and in cooperation with the other Guarantors, the launch and work of the Follow-up Mechanism on the repatriation of disarmed combatants in eastern DRC, Rwanda and Uganda.   

He also supported dialogue processes in the region, including in Burundi and the DRC to create conditions for peaceful, democratic and credible elections. He promoted aligned regional and international approaches in support of peaceful solutions in these two countries. In Burundi, he initiated and facilitated the Inter-Burundi dialogue from April to June 2015.  

Ambassador Djinnit initiated and supported the reform of the governing mechanisms of the Framework Agreement, following which the annual Summits bringing together the leaders of the region were hosted by one of the signatory countries, resulting in greater regional ownership and commitment to implement the Framework Agreement.

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Donata Garrasi

Director for political Affairs in the Office of the UN Special Envoy for the Great lakes

Donata has more than 20 years of experience working with leading multi-lateral and bi-lateral agencies in the field of peace and security.  She started her career with the United Nations covering crisis affected countries in West and Central Africa, Rwanda, and Afghanistan. She then served as Peace and Conflict Adviser and Senior Stabilisation Adviser with the UK government, leading on various aspects of peace and political processes in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia (Aceh, Molukkus), and on stabilisation operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Donata held senior positions with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) where she led the conflict and fragility portfolio, and with the World Bank for which she has recently been leading Recovery and Peacebuilding reviews and processes.  In addition to her close involvement with peace processes and political transitions, Donata has, in the last few years, been working on innovative approaches to attract business and investment in crisis affected situations, in the context of broader peace consolidation efforts. Donata is an Italian national.

Mr. Aniefiok Johnson    

The Chief of Staff

Aniefiok Johnson is Chief of Staff, Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary‐General for the Great Lakes region, located in the United Nations Complex in Nairobi, Kenya. He has acquired over 27 years of experience from progressively responsible positions in diplomacy and international relations, including: Foreign Service postings to the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations in New York; the High Commission of Nigeria to Trinidad and Tobago, with concurrent accreditation to Barbados, Guyana and Suriname; the Nigerian Embassy in Bonn and Berlin, Germany as well as senior positions in the United Nations. He has provided strategic advice and mediation support to high‐ level UN and African Union Mediators, including Special Envoys of the Secretary‐General, African Union Co‐Facilitator and African Union‐United Nations Joint Special Representatives, in conflict resolution initiatives between the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), the Darfur peace process, and peace processes in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Prior to joining the Great Lakes office, he was the Head of Office of the Joint Special Representative, African Union‐United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur and Chief of Staff, African Union‐United Nations Joint Mediation Support Team, Doha, State