Monday, November 24, 2014

Secretary-General Appoints Major General Birhanu Jula Gelalcha of Ethiopia Force Commander of UN Interim Security Force for Abyei

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Major General Birhanu Jula Gelalcha of Ethiopia as Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).

The new Force Commander succeeds Lieutenant General Yohannes Gebremeskel Tesfamariam of Ethiopia, who completed his assignment as Force Commander and Head of Mission on 19 June 2014.  The Secretary-General is grateful to Lieutenant General Tesfamariam for his dedication and effective leadership of UNISFA.  He also conveys his appreciation to Major General Halefom Moges for his service as UNISFA’s Acting Head of Mission.

Major General Gelalcha has had a long and distinguished career with the Ethiopian Army, most recently serving as the Commander of the Western Command since 2010.  Prior to this, he was the Deputy Commander of the Central Command from 2006 until 2009.  He has also held a number of important operational and staff positions, among them the Division Commander of Ethiopian Army’s Ministry of National Defence from 1995 to 2000, the Head of the Cadet School from 2001 to 2003, the Chief of Corps Administration in 2004 and the Head of Brigade Operations from 1989 to 1997.  In 2005, he was a Sector Commander in the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

He holds a master’s degree from Greenwich University in Addis Ababa and a bachelor’s degree from Alpha University College in Addis Ababa.

Born in 1965, he is married and has three children.