Leadership

Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of UNMISS

Nicholas Haysom South Sudan UNMISS Peacekeeping United Nations

Mr. Nicholas Haysom

In January 2021, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Nicholas Haysom of South Africa as his Special Representative for South Sudan and Head of UNMISS.

From 2019 to 2020, Nicholas Haysom served as the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sudan. From 2018 to 2019, he was the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission to Somalia (UNSOM).  He also served as Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) from 2014 to 2016, and as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan from 2012 to 2014.  From 2007 to 2012, he served as Director for Political, Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Affairs in the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General, and from 2005 to 2007, as Head of the Office of Constitutional Support for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq. 

From 2002 to 2005, Nicholas Haysom was the principal adviser to the Mediator in the Sudanese Peace Process. He was involved in the Burundi Peace Talks as Chair of the committee negotiating constitutional issues from 1999 to 2002 under the facilitation of late former President Nelson Mandela, and served in the Government of South Africa, including as Chief Legal and Constitutional Adviser in the Office of the President from 1994 to 1999.

Haysom earned a degree in law from the Universities of Natal and Cape Town in South Africa. He also received honorary doctorates from the University of Cape Town and New York Law School.

Deputy Special Representative-Political

Mr. Guang Cong

On 24 March 2020, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Guang Cong of China as the Deputy Special Representative (Political) for South Sudan and Deputy Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). 

Mr. Cong brings to the position vast experience in international affairs, including service in several United Nations peace operations, coupled with extensive experience in South Sudan and in the region.

Since 2016, he has served as Director of Civil Affairs in UNMISS.  Prior to this, he was Chief of Civil Affairs in the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), having previously served in the UNMISS office in Jonglei State, as well as in the Blue Nile State and Abyei offices of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).

Mr. Cong also held senior management positions within the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL), from 2012 to 2014, and within the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), from 2002 to 2009.

Prior to joining the United Nations in 2002, Mr. Cong had a distinguished career in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of China. He is married and has one child.

Force Commander

Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar

On 24 May 2019, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar of India as the new Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar has had a long and distinguished career with the Indian Armed Forces spanning over 34 years.  He graduated from the Indian Military Academy in 1983 and is currently Commandant of The Infantry School since July 2018.  He previously served as the Additional Director General of Military Operations at Army Headquarters from 2017 to 2018.  From 2012 to 2017, he commanded a division, a recruit training centre and a brigade, among other appointments within the Indian Armed Forces.  He has been awarded the Sena Medal and the Vishisht Seva Medal for Distinguished Service.

From 1996 to 1997, he served in the United Nations Angola Verification Mission III, and from 2008 to 2009, in the United Nations Mission in Sudan.

He holds a Master of Philosophy (M Phil) in Defence and Strategic Studies from The University of Madras, India, awarded in December 2014. Born in 1962, he is married and has one child.