Somalilandsun – The new Somaliland minister of foreign affairs Mohamed Bihi Yonis now mandated with spearheading the country’s foreign policy is a locally unknown entity which might be a negative which is countered by his international standing as well as abilities, skills and knowledge in diplomacy.
Born in 1947, Mohamed Bihi Yonis holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Miami University. He has a diploma in education from the Teachers Training College in Hargeisa and Gohrde College in Germany, and a certificate in conflict management from the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution.
In September 2009 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and African Union Chairperson Jean Ping appointed Mohamed Bihi Yonis as Deputy Joint Special Representative for Operations and Management in the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). Mr. Yonis succeeded Hocine Medili of Algeria.
Mr. Yonis’s prior peacekeeping experience also includes senior-level assignments in field missions, including serving as the Chief Administrative Officer with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) from 2002 to 2006 and the Chief Administrative Officer in the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) from 2001 to 2002. Prior to service in peacekeeping, he worked for the African Development Bank in Côte d’Ivoire in various senior positions, including the Director and Management Adviser to the President of the Bank and the Deputy Director of Human Resources Management.
Mohamed Bihi Yonis is married to Halima Mumin, with whom he has four children: Safia Yonis, Zacharia Yonis, Fatima Yonis and Ahmed Yonis.