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Biographies of the members of the International Team of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo


Bessolé René Bagoro (Burkina Faso)

Bessolé René Bagoro is a magistrate and expert on human rights and justice issues. He has held various positions in his country's government and judicial system, including Special Adviser to the President of Burkina Faso on Legal and Institutional Affairs (2021-2022); Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals (2019-2021); Minister of Justice, Human Rights and Civic Promotion, Keeper of the Seals (2016-2018); Minister of Housing and Urban Development (2014-2016); Adviser to the Ouagadougou Court of Appeal (2012-2014); and President of the Ouagadougou Administrative Court (2009-2012).

Mr Bagoro has also been a consultant to non-governmental organisations and institutions on issues relating to human rights, justice, transitional justice, the fight against impunity and the fight against corruption.

Mr Bagoro holds a postgraduate degree (DEA) in international human rights law and democracy from the University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin, and a master's degree in public law and political science from the University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Marie-Thérèse Keïta-Bocoum (Côte d'Ivoire)

Marie-Thérèse Keïta Bocoum served as the UN Independent Expert on the human rights situation in the Central African Republic from 2014 to 2019.

She held political affairs and human rights leadership positions at the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWAS) from 2003 to 2008 and at the UN-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) from 2008 to 2013. From 1999 to 2004, Ms. Keïta Bocoum served as the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Burundi.

Before joining the UN, Ms. Keïta Bocoum taught at several universities and institutions in Côte d'Ivoire and France. She is a graduate of the Institute of Political Studies of Aix-en-Provence in France and holds a doctorate in history from the University of Aix Marseille in France.

Former Members

Arnauld Antoine Akodjènou (Benin)

Arnauld Antoine Akodjènou is a Senior Adviser for Africa at the Kofi Annan Foundation, where he focuses on providing strategic and technical assistance to democracy programs on the continent. Over the past three decades, he held numerous positions in the United Nations, including Special Adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for South Sudan (2017-2019), Deputy Special Representative for the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (2014-2015), Deputy Special Representative for Côte d'Ivoire (2011-2014), Inspector General - UNHCR (2009 to 2011), Director of the Division of Operational Services - UNCHR (2005-2009), Director of Emergency and Security Services - UNHCR (2003 to 2005), UNCHR Representative in Mali and Sierra Leone (1997-2003), as well as Regional Coordinator for Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire – UNHCR.

Mr. Akodjènou entered UNHCR in 1986 and held positions in Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo and Chad. Prior to that, he worked for several years with the World Social Prospects Association/United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

Akodjènou graduated from the University of Benin in Cotonou before earning his post-graduate degree from the Institute of International Relations of Cameroon in Yaoundé.  He also holds a PhD in political science from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva in 1982.

Bacre Waly Ndiaye, President (Senegal)

Bacre Waly Ndiaye was director of the New York office of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from 1998 to 2006, and was also director of OHCHR’s Human Rights and Treaties division, its Human Right Council and Special Procedures division, and its Research and Right to Development division at OHCHR’s headquarters in Geneva from 2006 to 2014. In 2006, he was appointed UN Deputy Special Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the rank of Assistant-Secretary-General.

He previously served as the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, participating in missions to the former Yugoslavia (1992), including for the International Commission of investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity, Rwanda (1993-1994), and Colombia and Papua New Guinea (1995). In 1995, he was appointed as one of the commissioners of the Truth and Justice Commission in Haiti.

Before joining the UN, Mr. Ndiaye worked for Amnesty International (1985-1991) as an elected member of the International Executive Committee, including as Vice-Chairman (1989-1991), and of the Committee for the Middle East. He also served as Middle East Coordinator and as Research and Campaigns Coordinator overseeing the publication of Amnesty’s annual report (1987-1989).

Mr. Ndiaye is a member of the Senegalese Bar Council and served as its Secretary-General (1983-1991) and as president of its professional ethics practice commission.