Two new Force Commanders to head UN missions in Golan Heights and Lebanon

18 January 2007

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has named two generals with United Nations peacekeeping experience as the new Force Commanders for the world body’s operations in the Golan Heights and Lebanon.

In letters to the President of the Security Council, Mr. Ban announced his intention to appoint Major-General Wolfgang Jilke of Austria to lead the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) and Major-General Claudio Graziano of Italy to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

In his almost 40-year military career, Major-General Wolfgang Jilke, whose tenure is effective today, has held a variety of posts both within and outside of his home country of Austria. He succeeds Lieutenant-General Bala Nanda Sharma of Nepal in his post as Force Commander.

Major-General Jilke has taught at the Austrian War College and has served as Commander of his country’s International Peace Support Command as well as the Chief of the Office of the Austrian Federal Minister of Defence. He has represented Austria in both the European Union and NATO since January 2003.

The major-general brings past experience of UNDOF to his new post, as he served twice in the mission in the past as Company Commander in 1975 and as Deputy Chief of Staff from 1989 to 1990.

Major-General Graziano joined the Italian Military in 1974, and has since held a number of posts at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. He was promoted to the rank of major-general in January 2006.

He has a Bachelor’s degree and two Master’s degrees in Human Sciences and in Strategic Military Studies.

As Commanding Officer of the Susa Alpine Infantry Battalion, the major-general was deployed with his battalion in the UN Operation in Mozambique. He also served as Commander of the Kabul Multinational Brigade in Afghanistan from July 2005 to February 2006.

Major-General Graziano will replace French Major-General Alain Pellegrini who will step down on 17 February.


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