UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appointed Lt Gen. Mohan Subramanian as the commander of UN peacekeeping in South Sudan, the largest troop deployment in UN missions, Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric announced Tuesday.
Subramanian succeeds Lt Gen Shailesh Tinaikar, also of India, as the force commander of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Dujarric said. The mission set up in 2011 has 17,982 personnel, of whom 13,254 are troops, the most in the 13 current UN peacekeeping operations. India has contributed 2,385 troops and 30 police personnel to UNMISS. Subramanian was the commandant of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) appointed in February this year, according to its website.
The UN said that Subramanian was most recently the General Officer Commanding, Military Region Operational and Logistic Readiness Zone in Central India "contributing to the Army's operational and logistic preparedness". He had earlier served in a UN peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone in 2000. According to the DSSC, Subramanian, who was commissioned in the Corps of Army Air Defence in 1986, has been awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal. He studied at the Sainik School in Amaravatinagar in Tamil Nadu, the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
He is also a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, the Higher Command Course at Army War College, Mhow and the Advanced Professional Programme in Public Administration, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi. He has MPhil degrees in Defence and Management Studies as well as Social Sciences and has completed programmes in Defence and Strategic Studies, Human Rights and Public Administration.
According to the UN, he has also served as the Additional Director General for Procurement and Equipment Management at the Defence Ministry's Integrated Headquarters, General Officer Commanding a Strike Infantry Division, Deputy General Officer Commanding of Infantry Division, and Commander of a Mountain Brigade.
He has commanded an Air Defence Regiment in Desert Sector and an Infantry Division in Eastern Theatre, according to the DSSC. The Security Council created UNMISS to consolidate peace and security and later extended the mandate to protect civilians and help human rights monitoring and provision of humanitarian aid. Rwanda is the top troop contributor to UNMISS with 2,643. Nepal has deployed 1,751 troops in the mission and Bangladesh 1,627.