REUTERS – Veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi has agreed to replace Kofi Annan as the international mediator on Syria, U.N. sources said on Thursday, as the 17-month-old conflict slips deeper into full-scale civil war.
Brahimi has had a long career in international diplomacy, serving his country and the United Nations for most of his life. Here are some key details about Brahimi:
* Brahimi was born January 1, 1934. He is married with three children. Educated in Algeria and France, Brahimi is fluent in Arabic, English and French.
* He helped Algeria win independence from France in 1962, representing the National Liberation Front in Southeast Asia, based in Jakarta, between 1956 and 1961.
* From 1984 to 1991 he was Arab League under-secretary-general and brokered an end to Lebanon’s civil war. Brahimi then served as Algeria’s foreign minister for three years.
* Brahimi spent six months heading the U.N. observer mission in South Africa before elections in 1994, when Nelson Mandela become president of post-apartheid South Africa.
* Between 1994 and 1996 he was the top U.N. envoy in Haiti, before taking on the same role in Afghanistan for two years. He returned to Afghanistan as U.N. special envoy between 2001 and 2004 to lead the U.N. Assistance Mission.
* In between his Afghanistan assignments he chaired an independent panel established by then U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to review the world body’s peacekeeping operations.
* Throughout his career, Brahimi also carried out special U.N. missions to several countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, Liberia, Nigeria and Sudan.
* Brahimi is also a member of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders formed in 2007 who work together for peace and human rights. Brahimi visited Syria, Gaza, Egypt and Jordan in October 2010 as part of his work with The Elders to promote Middle East peace.
(Source: www.theelders.org, www.un.org)
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by David Brunnstrom)