Nicosia, 25 February 2011 -- Major General Chao Liu of China officially assumed his duties as Force Commander of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) today at a brief ceremony held in the United Nations Protected Area in Nicosia.
Acting Force Commander, Colonel Gerard Hughes, officially transferred duties and responsibilities to Major General Liu who succeeds Rear Admiral Mario Sánchez Debernardi of Peru who served as UNFICYP Force Commander from April 2008 to December 2010.
The ceremony was attended by Lisa M. Buttenheim, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus, members of UNFICYP and the UN country team in Cyprus. Major General Liu was appointed as Force Commander of UNFICYP by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 13 January 2011. He is the seventeenth UN Force Commander to serve in Cyprus.
Major General Chao Liu brings with him over 25 years of military experience at the national and international level. He has served as the Military, Air and Naval Attaché at the Embassy of China in India since 2008. Prior to this position, he had served as the Deputy Commander of a mechanized infantry division in Shen Yang Military Region since 2006. He held various positions in the Ministry of National Defence, including as the Section Chief in charge of planning and coordination, Staff Officer, as well as a Regimental Commander in Shen Yang Military Region. During 1993-1994, he served in the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara as a military observer.
Major General Chao Liu has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Shijiazhuang Military Command Academy and a Master of Arts degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Born in Liaoning, China, on 6 March 1959, Major General Liu is married and has one child.
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