UN chief Ban Ki-moon Tuesday appointed the Ethiopian Lt Gen. Yohannes Gebremeskel Tesfamariam as the Force Commander for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
Tesfamariam who served as the head of UN force for Abyei succeeds Major-General Delali Johnson Sakyi of Ghana, who completed his assignment on 9 June 2014.
“Lieutenant-General Tesfamariam brings to the position 35 years of experience with the Ethiopian National Defence Forces and the United Nations in conflict-affected areas,” said the UN spokesperson in a statement released on Tuesday.
The new UNMISS commander was the head of the peacekeeping department and head of the military intelligence in the Ethiopian defence ministry. He served as commander of the army corps and Ethiopia’s commissioner for the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Lieutenant-General Tesfamariam who is from Tigry region has a master’s degree in peace and security from Addis Ababa University.
Last May, UN Security Council extended the mandate of the UN Mission in South Sudan and authorised it to use “all necessary means” to protect civilians, monitor and investigate human rights, create the conditions for delivery of humanitarian assistance, and support the implementation of the ceasefire agreement.
Last December following the eruption of violence in the South Sudan, the 15-member body increased the number of troops deployed in the country to 12,500 troops and 1,323 police forces.