Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of UNMISS
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.
Deputy Special Representative (UN RC/HC/UNDP RR)
Mr. Alain Noudéhou
On 28 August 2017, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Alain Noudéhou of Benin as his Deputy Special Representative in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). He will also serve as United Nations Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Mr. Noudéhou succeeded Eugene Owusu of Ghana, who completed his assignment in July 2017.
At the time of this appointment, Mr. Noudéhou was serving as Chief of Staff and Director of the Executive Office of UNDP in New York. He brings to the position extensive experience in international development and humanitarian affairs (since 2016).
He previously served as the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the People’s Republic of China (2014-2016) and UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Zimbabwe (2010-2014). He was appointed UNDP Country Director in Tanzania in 2007 and served as UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Rwanda in 2004. Before joining the United Nations, Mr. Noudéhou worked in senior positions from 1996 to 2002 for then CHF International Inc., an international non-governmental organization, currently named Global Communities, Partners for Good.
Mr. Noudéhou holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, USA. He completed his undergraduate degree at Tsinghua University in China in 1990 and speaks English, Chinese, French, and Fon. Born in 1966, he is married and has two children.
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.
Ms. Unaisi Bolatolu-Vuniwaqa
On 25 May 2018, Unaisi Bolatolu-Vuniwaqa from Fiji was appointed as the first female Police Commissioner to serve with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. She began her service 32 years ago as an individual police officer, rising quickly through the ranks to command the Fijian police contingent before becoming Deputy Police Commissioner and now Police Commissioner. Her appointment to the top policing job at UNMISS has been welcomed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the Mission, David Shearer.
Commissioner Bolatolu-Vuniwaqa’s goal is to boost the number of female officers and to actively engage with Police Contributing Countries to make them commit to lifting the proportion of serving policewomen from its current level of 20 per cent.
She is a fierce advocate for empowering women whether it is within the UN system or more broadly encouraging women to aspire to leadership positions and achieve their full potential.
The primary responsibility of the 1896 police officers (from an authorized strength of 2101) serving in South Sudan under Commissioner Bolatolu-Vuniwaqa’s command, is to ensure the safety and security of internally displaced people who have sought sanctuary from ongoing violence in UN protection sites. Currently, police officers from 45 countries contribute to this important service.