Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye as military adviser for United Nations peacekeeping operations.
Lt. Gen. Gaye, a citizen of Senegal, was until recently the force commander of the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), formerly known as MONUC, where he worked for five years.
His long and distinguished career with the Senegalese army includes serving as chief of defence. He also participated in two other UN peacekeeping operations in the Sinai in the 1970s, and in south Lebanon in the 1980s.
Born in 1951, Lt. Gen. Gaye, a graduate of the Ã‰cole SpÃ©ciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr in France, was ambassador of Senegal to Germany, Austria and to the UN in Vienna prior to his appointment as MONUC`s force commander in 2005.
He replaces Nigeria`s Lieutenant General Chikadibia Isaac Obiakor, whose tour of duty ends on 12 September, after two particularly busy years which saw the establishment of the UN mission in Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) and the joint UN-African Union mission in Darfur (UNAMID), as well as the emergency operations linked to the Haiti earthquake.
The Secretary-General expressed his sincere gratitude to to Lt. Gen. Obiakor and wished him well in his future endeavours.