Indian Major appointed head of key UN force

He succeeds Nepal's Lt Gen Purna Chandra Thapa, who will complete his assignment on February 7, 2016.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 03, 2016, 17:02 PM IST

Geneva: Major General Jai Shanker Menon of the Indian Army, a veteran of peacekeeping operations, has been appointed as the head of a key UN force stationed in Golan to maintain the ceasefire between Israeli and Syrian forces.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has named Menon as the Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).

He succeeds Nepal's Lt Gen Purna Chandra Thapa, who will complete his assignment on February 7, 2016.

The UN, in a statement, said Menon brings to his new position extensive command experience and knowledge of peacekeeping affairs at the national and international levels.

Till now, Menon was Additional Director General Equipment Management in the Indian Army. From 2012 to 2013, he was General Officer, Commanding an Infantry Division.

The UNDOF was established on May 31, 1974, by UN Security Council following the agreed disengagement of the Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan.

Since then, UNDOF has remained in the area to maintain the ceasefire between the Israeli and Syrian forces and to supervise the implementation of the disengagement agreement.

Menon has held a number of command positions in the Indian Army, including Commandant of Regimental Training Centre, Brigade Commander and Battalion Commander.

He has also served at the international level, including in the United Nations as a Military Observer in the United Nations Operation in Mozambique (ONUMOZ) in 1993 and United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) from 2007 to 2009.

He holds a Master of Management Studies degree from Osmania University in Hyderabad, a Master of Defence Studies degree from Madras University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Jawahar Lal Nehru University.

Menon graduated from the National Defence Academy in Khadakvasla, Army War College in Mhow, Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, and the College of Defence Management in Secunderabad.