Rabat – Former German President Horst Köhler has officially been appointed the United Nations’ Personal Envoy for the Western Sahara.
Köhler, a member of the Christian Democratic Union who served as Germany’s president from 2004 to 2010, will succeed the United States diplomat Christopher Ross, who served in the position from 2009 until he resigned in March.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres floated Köhler’s name as a possible replacement for Ross back in April, after leading an apparent reshuffling of the organization’s departments.
The proposal to appoint Köhler also came just before the Security Council voted on a resolution to extend MINURSO’s mandate for one year, a decision understood as being in Morocco’s favor.
A few days after Köhler’s name was presented as a potential replacement, the Polisario Front announced its approval of his appointment.
Before entering politics, Köhler was known as an economist, previously holding high positions in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 1998 to 2000 and the International Monetary Fund from 2000 to 2004.
Köhler abruptly resigned as German president after being criticized for advocating a pro-war “gunboat” policy.