1 October 2003
SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS MAJOR-GENERAL SAMAILA ILIYA OF NIGERIA AS FORCE COMMANDER OF UNITED NATIONS MISSION IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
NEW YORK, 30 September (UN Headquarters) -- On 29 September, the Secretary-General informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint, as of 1 January 2004, Major-General Samaila Iliya of Nigeria as Force Commander of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), where he will succeed Major-General Mountaga Diallo (Senegal) who will be completing his tour of duty with the Mission at the end of the year.
Major-General Iliya was born on 14 September 1952, and graduated from the Nigerian Military School in 1970. He was commissioned into the Infantry Corps in 1973 after completing his studies at the Nigerian Military Academy. He is also a graduate of the École supérieure de guerre interarmées in France, and participated in a number of military courses in the United States. Having risen through the ranks of the Nigerian Army from a company commander to the Army’s Chief of Administration, he has held key positions in Nigeria’s prestigious Command and Staff College, including Director of Staff, Chief Instructor and Director of Army Faculty.
He participated in the United Nations peacekeeping operations in Lebanon and Rwanda. In Rwanda, he served as Chief Operations Officer for the observer group. He also served as Chief Humanitarian Officer in Goma, where he worked with United Nations agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations to address a major humanitarian crisis that was emerging.
Major-General Iliya is expected to assume his duties on 1 January 2004, after Major-General Diallo completes his tour of duty with MONUC. Under his command, MONUC evolved from a small military observer mission to a major multidimensional peacekeeping operation with a strength of 10,800 military personnel. General Diallo also oversaw the disengagement of foreign and Congolese belligerent parties, the withdrawal of foreign troops from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and contributed to the negotiations leading to the establishment of the all-inclusive Transitional Government. The Secretary-General expresses his gratitude for the outstanding contribution made by Major-General Diallo to the Democratic Republic of the Congo peace process.
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