Kenyan Major appointed force commander for UN missions
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed 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.
The Secretary-General thanked Major General Khalid for his 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 his appointment, he was the General Officer Commanding Western Kenya Region, 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.
He a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nairobi and is a graduate of Kenya’s Staff and National Defense College.
Born in 1959, Major General Ngondi is married and has three children.
In a related development, XINHUA reports indicate that the Chief of the Kenya Defense Forces General Julius Karangi congratulated Ngondi on his new appointment, saying the move demonstrated the professional role the Kenyan soldiers play in the peacekeeping missions internationally.
“This appointment is another testament to the level of respect that KDF commands in the international arena, and a show of confidence on KDF professionalism,” Karangi said.
UNMIL is a multinational peacekeeping force established in 2003 to monitor the ceasefire agreement between various warring factions in Liberia.
The East African nation’s soldiers are participating in numerous peacekeeping missions around the globe. Currently they are engaged in Sudan under United Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), United Nations/AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and in Somalia under the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).