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 - Humanitarian
Ms. Sara Beysolow Nyanti
Sara Beysolow Nyanti of Liberia was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres as his Deputy Special Representative in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and Resident Coordinator in South Sudan on 6 December 2021. Ms. Nyanti also serves as Humanitarian Coordinator. She assumed her duties on 9 January 2022.
Ms. Nyanti brings more than 20 years of experience in international development and humanitarian affairs including in conflict and post-conflict settings, most recently serving as Resident Coordinator in Nepal (2021). She also served as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Yemen (2019-2020) and in the Gambia (2015-2017).
Prior to and also in between her senior-level representational roles, she served in numerous technical capacities in UNICEF and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) related to setting up systems for large scale grant management, social protection/cash transfers (most recently in Yemen before becoming Representative), HIV/AIDS, health, and education.
Ms. Nyanti is known for pioneering the establishment of Programme Management Units within UNICEF structures; as well as for her work on risk management including research on localization and risk management.
Before joining the United Nations in Liberia where she worked during the conflict and transitional Government periods, Ms. Nyanti held senior positions in the Ministry of Health of the Government of Liberia (1999-2003).
She served as the Director of the National AIDS Control Programme and prior to that, she served as Special Assistant to the Minister of Health.
Ms. Nyanti holds a master’s degree in public administration from the New Charter University, United States. She most recently completed a second master’s in management and leadership from Western Governors University, United States, and is an accredited broker with the United Kingdom-based international Partnership Broker Association managing and developing collaboration processes. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in transformational leadership.
Acting Force Commander
Major General Main Ullah Chowdhury
Major General Main Ullah Chowdhury from Bangladesh was appointed Deputy Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan in November 2020 and is presently its Acting Force Commander.
Major Chowdhury has a 34-year-long distinguished military career in the Bangladesh Army, which comprises of command, staff and instructional appointments.
He has successively commanded two Infantry Divisions and proudly served as Commandant of Bangladesh Military Academy. He has also commanded one Infantry Battalion both in plains and operational areas, one Infantry Brigade, one Armoured Brigade.
Major General Chowdhury has served mostly in operations. He was military assistant to two successive Chiefs of Army Staff in the Bangladesh Army. As instructor, he served as the Platoon Commander/Company Commander, Bangladesh Military Academy and Instructor at School of Infantry and Tactics.
Major General Chowdhury has served as a peacekeeper in Sierra Leone and in Liberia. He was an active part of the international coalition forces to liberate Kuwait during the Gulf War in 1990-1991.
Major General Chowdhury graduated from the Defence Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) in Mirpur, Dhaka and has the distinction of graduating from United States of America’s Army War College (USAWC).
He holds a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies from USAWC as well as in Defense Studies from the National University of Bangladesh. He is married with two children.
Ms. Christine Fossen
Christine Fossen from Norway currently leads the UN Police (UNPOL) component at UNMISS. She succeeds Unaisi Lutu Vuniwaqa from Fiji, who served in the mission from 2018 to 2021. Prior to joining UNMISS, Commissioner Fossen was Police Commissioner of the Southeast Police District, Norway.
Commissioner Fossen has held diverse portfolios within in the Norwegian police force and held several high-ranking posts. She began her policing career in the Vadsø police district, where she later served as Deputy Police Commissioner.
In 1990, she began an illustrious career in the Moss police district as a Police Prosecutor and Legal Attorney.
Commissioner Fossen held the position of Special Advisor at the Ministry of Justice, Oslo, Norway. She represented the Norwegian Ministry of Justice at the the United Nations Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34) and was part of the Security Council team at the Ministry of Justice, in Oslo.
In July 1998, Commissioner Fossen became the youngest Police Commissioner in the country. Since then, she has continued to serve in the capacity of Police Commissioner in various parts of Norway.
From 2013 to mid- 2015 Commissioner Fossen was head of the Admissions Board at the Norwegian Police University College. She has also been Head of Mission at the Temporary International Presence in Hebron, on the West Bank of Palestine.
Commissioner Fossen has served for 29 years in the Norwegian police force. She is married with three children and a grandchild. Commissioner Fossen holds a Master’s degree in law from the University of Oslo, Norway.