Jordanian to lead UN force in Ethiopia and Eritrea
Jordanian general to lead UN force in Ethiopia and Eritrea
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint a Jordanian Major-General with extensive peacekeeping experience as Force Commander of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE).
Mohammad Taisir Masadeh, who has served in various planning, command, liaison and training positions for Jordan’s contributions to UN peacekeeping, was previously Deputy Chief of Operations and Military Assistant to the Force Commander of the UN Protection Force in the Former Yugoslavia (UNPROFOR).
He replaces Major-General Rajender Singh of India, who completed an assignment of nearly two years.
Last week saw the departure of Mr. Annan’s Special Representative to the Ethiopia and Eritrea, Legwaila Joseph Legwaila, whose replacement has not yet been announced.
In March, the Council extended UNMEE’s mandate for one month, until 15 April, to allow recently revived border talks between the two countries a chance to break a volatile deadlock. The Council also reiterated its demands that Eritrea end its restrictions on UNMEE operations and that Ethiopia abide by decisions of the commission designated to settle the disputed border that had that caused war between the two countries.
Because of the parties’ intransigence on those issues, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called the situation of UNMEE “untenable” and has proposed a range of options to reconfigure the mission, ranging from redeployment to total withdrawal.