In order to succeed fellow officer Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday named Lieutenant General Mohan Subramanian of the Indian Army as the new Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
India had already sent fifteen Force Commanders to various UN missions before Subramanian was chosen for the position.
What is the UNMISS
South Sudan formed a new nation and attained independence in 2011. A civil war between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement that lasted more than 20 years came to an end with the founding of South Sudan (SPLM).
However, the UNMISS was initially constituted in 2011 under Security Council Resolution 1996 because it was believed that the security situation in South Sudan was unstable and posed a threat to global peace even after it gained independence.
The mission’s four key pillars include safeguarding civilians and establishing favourable conditions for the distribution of humanitarian aid. As well as keeping an eye out for, looking into, and reporting on violations of humanitarian and human rights law, it promotes the execution of the “revitalised accord and the peace process.”
The UN body has maintained that the situation in South Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international security, and the Security Council resolution has been renewed annually since it was first passed. In fact, the UNMISS was extended through 15 March 2023 by Security Council Resolution 2625, which was issued this year.
India has a long history of involvement and presence in UN peacekeeping operations. Over 200,000 Indians have participated in 49 UN peacekeeping deployments since 1948. With 5,400 military personnel serving, India is now represented in eight out of fourteen UN peacekeeping deployments.
In addition to Lt. Gen. Subramanian’s appointment, India has contributed fifteen Force Commanders, two military advisers, one deputy military advisor, two division commanders, and eight Deputy Force Commanders to the Secretary-General of the United Nations in a variety of UN operations.
Lt. Gen Subramanian’s career graph
More over 36 years have passed since Lieutenant General Subramanian joined the military. When he was selected for the UN mission, he was serving as the Commandant of the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington. Additionally, he held the position of General Officer Commanding, Military Region (Operational and Logistic Readiness Zone), in the heart of India. Lt Gen Subramanian was in charge of the Army’s operational and logistical readiness in that position.
According to sources in the defence and security sector, Subramanian received his commission in the Corps of Army Air Defence in June 1986. He graduated from the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun, the National Defense Academy in Khadakwasla, and the Sainik School in Amaravathinagar, Tamil Nadu.
Lt. Gen. Subramanian served in a number of command and staff positions before being assigned to a foreign posting as India’s Defence Attaché to Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia between 2008 and 2012. In 2000, he also worked for the UN Mission in Sierra Leone as a staff officer.
Two M. Phil. degrees, one each in management studies, social sciences, and defence are held by Lieutenant General Subramanian.