United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 24 February 2020 the appointment of Major General Ishwar Hamal of Nepal as the Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).
Major General Hamal will succeed Major General Shivaram Kharel, also of Nepal, who served as the Acting Head of Mission and Force Commander of UNDOF from June to October 2019. The Secretary-General thanks Major General Kharel for his dedicated service during this challenging period.
Major General Hamal has had a long career in the Nepali Army since entering as an artillery officer in 1983. He served in a variety of assignments and held several command and staff officer appointments at various levels, including Infantry Brigade Commander, Director of Military Operations and Military Secretary at Army Headquarters. Most recently, he served as the Commandant of the Nepali Army Command and Staff College and was Division Commander in the Mid-Eastern Division.
He has had extensive United Nations peacekeeping experience, having served as a Military Observer with the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) from 2006 to 2007 and as a Nepalese contingent member in the United Nations Protection Force from 1993 to 1994. Major General Hamal also served in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) as a Battalion Chief Operations Officer in 2000 and as a Platoon Commander from 1990 to 1991.
Major General Hamal holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Tribhuvan University in Nepal, a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College in Carlisle, and a Bachelor’s degree from the Tribhuvan University in Nepal.