Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar, a flag officer of the Indian Army, has been appointed as the new Force Commander on the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The three-star general has taken over the post from Rwanda’s Lt Gen. Frank Mushyo Kamanzi, who served as the force commander since 2017. Lt. Gen Tinaikar, is an alumnus of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, graduating in 1983 and has since had a distinguished military career spanning more than three decades. The general rank officer has served in the Special Forces and has held very prestigious appointments serving as the Commandant of The Infantry School since July 2018. He had previously served as the Additional Director General of Military Operations at Army Headquarters from 2017 to 2018 and 2012 to 2017, he commanded a division, a recruit training center and a brigade.
He was awarded the Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal for Distinguished Service.
From 1996 to 1997, he served in the United Nations Angola Verification Mission III, and from 2008 to 2009, in the United Nations Mission in Sudan.
Over, 14,276 UN peacekeeping troops are currently deployed in South Sudan, 2,547 of whom are from the Indian Army, making India the second largest contributor of peacekeepers in the UN mission after Rwanda. Over 150 Indian soldiers awarded the medal of honour for services rendered in the UN mission.
The Indian General reports directly to the head of the mission, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan (SRSG) and is responsible for all of the peacekeeping activities in the region.