UN appoints a Pakistani to head MINURSO

By Monitoring Desk
Friday – February 22, 2019
NEW YORK (United States): United Nations (UN) secretary-general António Guterres on Wednesday announced the appointment of major general Zia-ur-Rehman of Pakistan as force commander of the UN mission for the referendum in western Sahara (MINURSO).

According to an official statement, Rehman succeeds major general Xiaojun Wang of China, whose tour of duty ended on 17 February 2019.  Guterres is grateful to Wang for his exemplary service and contribution to the work of MINURSO.  

Rehman has 30 years of national and international military leadership experience, including as commander of military formations on operations and directing staff appointments at command, staff and war college levels. 

He possesses a range of experiences in other leadership, staff, liaison and operational tasks, including as a military observer in the then UN organisation mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). 

From 2015 to 2016, he served as senior national representative in the United States (US) central command (CENTCOM) headquarters in Florida. 

Most recently, Rehman served as the commander of an infantry brigade from 2016 to 2017 and of an infantry division from 2017.

Rehman holds a bachelor of science degree from the Pakistan military academy (PMA) in Kakul, a master of business administration degree from the Canadian school of management institute of graduate studies in Lahore, a bachelor of science (hons) degree from the university of Balochistan in Quetta, a master of science degree from the command and staff college in Quetta, a master of science (hons) and a master of philosophy degree from the national defence university (NDU), Islamabad.

Born in 1969, Rehman is married and has two children.