New MINURSO force commander


Indonesian career soldier Major General Imam Edy Mulyono has been named as new force commander of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

He takes over from Major General Abdul Hafiz of Bangladesh who has been force commander since July 2011.

Mulyono is currently special assistant to the Indonesian Army Chief of Staff in charge of peacekeeping operations and previously served as senior staff officer for training and exercises. He also commanded the Indonesian Defence Force’s peacekeeping centre.

He joined the Indonesian army in 1984, commanding an infantry company and battalion before becoming an associate professor at the Army Command General and Staff College.

A statement from secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon’s office said the Indonesian will bring “vast national and international military experience, including command and staff” to the position in Western Sahara.

Established in 1991, MINURSO is tasked with monitoring the ceasefire in Western Sahara and organising a referendum on self-determination for the people of the territory.

The UN has been involved in settlement efforts in Western Sahara since 1976 when fighting broke out between Morocco and the Frente Polisario after Spanish colonial administration of the territory came to an end.