Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Major General Iqbal Singh Singha of India as the head of the United Nations peacekeeping force monitoring the ceasefire in the Golan Heights between Israel and Syria.
Major General Singha will assume his new position as Head of Mission and Force Commander of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in August, and will succeed Major General Natalio C. Ecarma of the Philippines.
In a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, the Secretary-General expressed his gratitude to Major General Ecarma for “his dedication and effective leadership of UNDOF over the past two and a half years.”
Major General Singha has extensive command experience and knowledge of peacekeeping attained through service at national and international levels, the statement added. Prior to his appointment, Major General Singha was the General Officer of the Commanding Infantry Division, a position he held since 2010. His peacekeeping experience includes serving with the now-closed UN Mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia.
UNDOF was first established by the Security Council in 1974 to supervise the disengagement accord between Syrian and Israeli forces after their 1973 war. Last Friday, the Security Council agreed to extend its mandate until 31 December 2012.