United Nations - Apr 27, 2012 - 22:56
After the appointment of Norwegian Major General Robert Mood as head of UN monitors to be deployed to Syria, Norway's Defence Minister Espen Barth Eide highlighted the unarmed observers' "risky" mission.
The situation in Syria remains fragile," Eide said in a statement. "We therefore have to have realistic expectations in terms of what the observer force can achieve. Still, our hope is that the presence of the observers may help reduce the level of violence in the country."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said:
The general "brings to his new position extensive command experience and knowledge of peacekeeping attained through service at the national and international levels".
Mood was head of the UN Truce Supervision Organisation, which monitors Middle East truces, from 2009 until 2011. He was also twice part of the international force in Kosovo between 1999 and 2002.
Mood joined the Norwegian army in 1979 and served as a peacekeeper in civil-war stricken Lebanon in the late 1980s, while moving up the ranks to become Norway's chief of staff in 2005. [AFP]