United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Major General Paolo Serra of Italy on Monday to head the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the force responsible for fostering stability in southern Lebanon.
The appointment came five days before the current UNIFIL force commander, Major General Alberto Asarta Cuevas of Spain, was set to step down after a three-year tour.
Ban said that peacekeeping was “especially deadly in Lebanon." UNIFIL, which consists of around 12,100 military personnel from 35 countries, has lost 293 members since its inception in 1978.
Prior to his UNIFIL appointment, Serra commanded troops in multinational peace operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Mozambique.