UN appoints first woman peacekeeper commander

UN appoints first woman peacekeeper commander
HISTORIC FIRST: Maj-Gen Lund of Norway with Mr Ban as she was named the new head of the UN's peacekeeping operation in Cyprus.

The United Nations on Monday appointed the first woman to command one of the world body's peacekeeping operations.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon named Major-General Kristin Lund, of Norway, as the force commander for the UN peacekeeping operation in Cyprus. She will replace Maj-Gen Chao Liu, of China, on Aug 13.

"Maj-Gen Lund has had a distinguished military career, with over 34 years of military command and staff experience at national and international levels," Mr Ban said.

She will command some 900 troops and police that monitor a 180km buffer zone that has separated Greek and Turkish Cypriots for decades.

Turkey invaded Cyprus' north in 1974 after a Greek-inspired coup. It provides political and financial support to a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state there.

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