30 November 2012

Liberia: UN Appoints New Force Commander for UNMIL

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday announced the appointment of Major General Leonard Muriuki Ngondi of Kenya as the Force Commander for the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

Major General Ngondi succeeds Major General Muhammad Khalid of Pakistan, who completed his assignment on 9 November 2012.

Secretary-General Ban said he's grateful for Major General Khalid's significant contribution to UNMIL over the past two years, a critical period that saw national elections and the beginning of the transfer of security responsibilities from UNMIL to the Liberian Government.

Major General Ngondi brings with him over 32 years of national and international military experience, as well as command and staff experience. Until the Secretary-General's appointment, he was the General Officer Commanding Western Region, Kenya, an appointment he took up in April 2012.

From November 2010, he served as the General Officer Commanding Eastern Region, Kenya. Between 2005 and 2010, he held brigade-level commands and served as Deputy Commandant of the Kenyan Defence Staff College.

In addition, Major General Ngondi has held staff positions at army and formation-level headquarters, and he served as a commanding officer of the Kenyan units in the United Nations Transition Assistance Group in Namibia (UNTAG) in 1989 and the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) in 2000. Major General Ngondi was commissioned as a Lieutenant of the Infantry Corps from the Kenya Military Academy at Lanet, Nakuru, Kenya, in 1979.

Major General Ngondi has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nairobi and is a graduate of Kenya's Staff and National Defence College.

Born in Kenya in 1959, Major General Ngondi is married and has three children.

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