New Spanish commander takes over UNIFIL’s Sector East
A new Spanish Contingent, Brigadier General Venancio Aguado de Diego, took over the command of the Contingent and UNIFIL’s Sector East amidst a special ceremony at the Sector Headquarters in Marjayoun on 20 May.
In his address, the outgoing commander, Brigadier General Aroldo Lazaro Saenz said: “Since 2006, thousands of soldiers from the Spanish contingent have been serving in this friendly land. Fifteen of them lost their lives as a true example of what a soldier of any nationality or belief can give in the benefit of his country and the peace and stability here in South Lebanon.”
UNIFIL Deputy Force Commander Brigadier General Sandeep Singh Bajaj commended the work of the outgoing Spanish Contingent. “You have served with honour, dedication and indisputable professionalism day after day, restlessly accomplishing countless sensitive tasks, in close coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces,” said Brig. Gen. Bajaj.
Brig. Gen. Aguado promised to "complete the task and duty to the fullest."
Other dignitaries attending the ceremony were UNIFIL Deputy Head of Mission Imran Riza, Nabatiyeh Governor Mahmoud Al Mawla, Members of Lebanese Parliament Anwar El Khalil and Kassem Hachem, Deputy Spanish Ambassador to Lebanon Ricardo Santos Alfonso, Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) South Litani Sector Commander Brigadier General Khalil Al Gemayel and other LAF officials, local leaders, elected representatives and local authorities.
UNIFIL is deployed at the request of the Lebanese Government and within the framework of UN resolution 1701. First Spanish troops arrived to serve with UNIFIL in 2006. About 630 Spanish peacekeepers are currently serving with the UN Mission in south Lebanon.