Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of Mission
Ms. Valentine Rugwabiza of Rwanda was appointed Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Central African Republic (CAR) and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) on 23 February 2022 by UN Secretary-General, António Guterres.
With more than 30 years of experience in Africa development and security issues in both the public and corporate sectors, Ms. Rugwabiza has been a Cabinet member, a senior diplomat accredited to several countries and organizations, and a senior leader in national, regional and multilateral entities.
From 2005 until 2013, Ms. Rugwabiza served as the Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva. Before that, she was Rwanda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva and United Nations specialized agencies, as well as Ambassador to Switzerland, from 2002 to 2005.
Ms. Rugwabiza speaks English, French, Kiswahili and Kinyarwanda.
Mohamed Ag Ayoya
Deputy Special Representative and Resident Coordinator
United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, announced on 21 November 2022 the appointment of Mr. Mohamed Ag Ayoya of Mali as the new Deputy Special Representative for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and Resident Coordinator for the Central African Republic where he will also serve as Humanitarian Coordinator.
Mr. Ayoya brings over two decades of professional experience and extensive knowledge of humanitarian affairs, with a particular focus on complex emergencies and child protection issues in field settings.
Prior to his present position, Mr. Ayoya served in Afghanistan as the Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). He has also served as UNICEF Representative in Somalia and South Sudan between 2019 and 2022, where he worked closely with United Nations peace operations, as well as in Guinea (2013-2016) and Zimbabwe (2016-2019). He played a critical role in leading UNICEF’s response to the Ebola outbreak in Guinea; in child survival and development programmes in Haiti, India, Sierra Leone, Mali, Niger, Chad, Mauritania; in developing child survival strategies and capacity-building interventions using the human rights approach in West and Central Africa region and in managing complex and protracted emergencies, including COVID-19, in South Sudan and Somalia.
Mr. Ayoya holds a medical degree from the School of Medicine and Pharmacy in Mali and a PhD in nutritional sciences from Cornell University in the United States.
Mr. Ayoya is fluent in English, French, Tamasheq, Bamanan and Songhai.
Head of the Police Component (UNPOL)
The new head of the police component has a rich career of almost 30 years in the fields of reconstruction, building and guiding Rwandan state structures, and designing strategic policies and plans.
Police Commissioner Christophe Bizimungu started his professional career in January 1992 as a soldier. In 1994, he became a gendarme, following a common basic training at the National Gendarmerie School, then at the National Police Academy in Musanze, Rwanda.
In his country, Commissioner of Police Christophe Bizimungu has, in turn, held the positions of Chief of the Judicial Police, Prosecutor of the Military Courts, Regional Police Commander and Commissioner of the Criminal Investigation Department, Commander of the National Police School of Rwanda, and member of the Board of Directors of the Rwandan National Police. He participated in the design of the training policy and guidelines and contributed to the development and implementation of the security sector reform, which led to the creation of the Rwanda National Police in 2000. He has coordinated a dozen operations with Interpol.
With a Ph.D. in Criminal Law obtained in 2018, Commissioner Bizimungu has worked extensively in the justice sector of his country, including the reform and creation of the new military justice system. Among the projects under his responsibility are the general restoration of the law enforcement institution; the creation of a training and aptitude framework for police officers to manage the post-conflict situation. Later, he contributed to the national reform of the judicial sector, first as a lawyer and then as coordinator of the capacity-building policy in the National Gendarmerie and the Army.
Police Commissioner Christophe Bizimungu has obtained several certificates, notably from the International Peace Support Training Center in Nairobi, Kenya, and the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo, Italy. He has received other certifications in Rwanda including the United Naval Justice School detachment of international training, the National police academy in Musanze, the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, and the United States Defense institute of international legal studies. From October 2007 to September
2008, he completed a Master's degree in International Criminal Law at the University of Sussex, England. From 1994 to 1995, he was a Liaison Officer between the United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda (UNAMIR) and the Patriotic Army of Rwanda during the conflict and post-conflict periods.
The Police Commissioner has received several decorations, including that of exemplary police performance, a distinction awarded to only a dozen police officers since the creation of the Rwandan police.
Born in 1965, Police Commissioner Christophe Bizimungu is married and has four children.