27 August 2007 – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Major-General Zhao Jingmin as the new Force Commander for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO), the first time that the world body has had a Chinese national head one of its missions.
Maj.-Gen. Zhao succeeds Gen. Kurt Mosgaard of Denmark, who will complete his tour of duty as Force Commander today, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters.
Gen. Zhaohas has previously served in MINURSO as a military observer and has also served as a liaison officer with the UN Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM).
MINURSO has been in place since September 1991 to monitor the ceasefire between Morocco and the Frente Polisario.
In an April resolution, the Security Council called on the parties to enter into negotiations “without preconditions in good faith.”