Afghan diplomat named UN mission chief in Liberia

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday named Afghan diplomat Farid Zarif to head the UN mission in Liberia, as the West African country struggles to recover from the devastating Ebola crisis.

Zarif, who is currently the head of the UN mission in Kosovo, will replace Karin Landgren of Sweden, who was the UN envoy in Liberia for the past three years.

Liberia has been the hardest-hit country in the Ebola outbreak that began in Guinea in December 2013 and has claimed nearly 11,300 lives in West Africa.

Liberia was declared Ebola-free in May, but six new cases last month raised fears that the virus had not been completely beaten back.

Zarif was Afghanistan`s UN ambassador from 1981 to 1987, before serving as deputy foreign minister and presidential adviser on international affairs.

A graduate of Kabul University, Zarif joined the United Nations in 1993 and was appointed its envoy for Kosovo in 2011.

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