India’s Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar is to be the new UNMISS (United Nations Mission in South Sudan) Force Commander (FC). Since February 2019, SNI has been reporting on moves to name an Indian 3-star General as head of the blue helmets in South Sudan. An official announcement is to be made from New Delhi, from the UN Secretary General’s office in New York and from the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative (SRSG) David Shearer’s office. SNI has learnt that the UN Secretariat has cleared the selection and the appointment of Lt. Gen. Tinaikar.
He is expected to arrive in South Sudan at the end of June to take up the assignment. SNI also learns the appointment is on the level of UN Assistant Secretary General. Lt Gen Tinaikar is to succeed Rwanda’s Lt Gen Frank Mushyo Kamanzi who took over command on 29 May 2017. SNI has also learnt the current FC is in New York for debriefings. There are 14,276 UN peacekeeping troops in South Sudan as of March 2019, with Rwanda having the maximum (2,750) and India being the second biggest troop contributor (2,337). 2,547 men and women peacekeepers are Indian (as of January, 2019).
The Force Commander reports directly to the head of the Mission (SRSG) and is responsible for all military activities in support of the Mission’s mandate to protect civilians. India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin told SNI: “Lt Gen Tinaikar’s appointment as FC of UNMISS is in line with the long tradition India has of deputing exceptionally skilled officials in support of UN Peacekeeping. We look forward to his serving the cause of international peace & security with distinction.” Source: SNI Wire