The UN Secretary General has appointed Indian Army officer, Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar, as the new Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
Lieutenant General Tinaikar will succeed Lieutenant General Frank Kamanzi of Rwanda who completes his assignment today at UNMISS.
Gen. Tinaikar will command over 16,000 peacekeepers, about 2,400 from India, in UNMISS.
Antonio Guterres made the announcement on Friday noting that the new force commander has “had a long and distinguished career with the Indian Armed Forces spanning over 34 years.”
Mr. Tinaikar graduated from the Indian Military Academy in 1983 and is currently serving as the Commandant of the Infantry School since July 2018.
He previously served in Angola Verification Mission for UN, and also at the UN Mission in Sudan from 2008 to 2009.
Tinaikar also served as the Additional Director General of Military Operations at the Indian Army Headquarters from 2017 to 2018 and commanded a division, a recruit training centre and a brigade between 2012 and 2017.
He also holds a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) in Defence and Strategic Studies from The University of Madras.
India is the second highest troop contributing country to UNMISS with 2,337 Indian peacekeepers, second to Rwanda with 2,750.
Reports indicate that India is the fourth largest contributor of uniformed personnel to the UN peacekeeping missions, and currently contributes more than 6,400 military and police personnel to the UN peace operations in Abyei, other parts of South Sudan, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, the Middle East, and the Western Sahara.