Ambassador from Chad: Who Is Maitine Djoumbe?
The north-central African nation of Chad—which is fourth (after Somalia, Congo and Sudan) on the Fund for Peace-Foreign Policy Failed States Index and is the only nation that uses child soldiers and yet receives U.S. military aid, sent a new ambassador to Washington last summer. Career diplomat Maitine Djoumbe presented his credentials to President Obama on July 30, 2012, succeeding Mahamoud Adam Bechir, who had served since December 2004. Djoumba is concurrently accredited as Chad's ambassador to Canada, as well.
Born New Year's Day 1953 in Moukoulou, Chad (then part of French Equatorial Africa), Djoumbe earned a Master's Degree in Administration and Management at the Administrative Staff College in Paris, France, in 1978.
In a long career at the Chad Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Djoumbe has served as ambassador to several other African nations, as well as other positions. He was ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo from 1982 to 1987, ambassador to Sudan from 1987 to 1989, and ambassador to Algeria from 1989 to 1991.
Although the available public record is sketchy regarding Djoumbe's activities during the chaotic years after the 1990 coup that put Idriss Déby in power (where he remains today), Djoumbe emerged as deputy general director of the Foreign Ministry from 1999 to 2001. He then served as ambassador to the Central African Republic from 2001 to 2003, and as ambassador to Ethiopia from 2003 to 2007, concurrently accredited as Chad's permanent representative to the African Union while resident in Addis Ababa.
Djoumbe next received his first posting to Europe, serving as ambassador to Belgium from 2007 to 2010, concurrently accredited as Chad's permanent representative to the European Union while resident in Brussels.
In an odd career twist, Djoumbe then served as Minister of Mines and Geology from 2010 to 2011.
Maitine Djoumbe is married to Naomi Darkarim, with whom he has six children.
Entrevue avec son excellence Maitine Djoumbe, ambassadeur du Tchad aux Etats-Unis (Interview with Maitine Djoumbe) (video, in French)
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