United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Major General Purna Chandra Thapa of Nepal as the Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).
Major General Thapa succeeds Lieutenant General Iqbal Singh Singha of India, who completed his assignment on 2 January. The Secretary-General is grateful to Lieutenant General Singha for his dedicated leadership during a particularly difficult period in the mission's history.
Major General Thapa brings to his new position extensive command experience and knowledge of peacekeeping attained through service at the national and international levels. Prior to his appointment, Major General Thapa was the Master General of Ordnance at the Nepalese Army Headquarters. From 2012 to 2013, Major General Thapa was Commanding General of an Infantry Division. He also held a number of senior military positions at the Nepalese Army Headquarters, including Adjutant General, Director of Nepalese Army Welfare Planning and Military Secretary. Major General Thapa served with the Nepalese contingent in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) twice, in 1986 and 1989, as a United Nations Military Observer in the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in 1994 and was the Vice-Chairman of the Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) from 2009 to 2011.
Major General Thapa holds a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Madras, India, and a bachelor’s degree in humanities and social science from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He also graduated from the Army Command and Staff College, Nepal and National Defence College, New Delhi, India.
Born in 1960, Major General Thapa is married and has one daughter and one son.