Srinagar:UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Major General Jose Eladio Alcain of Uruguay as head of mission and chief military observer for the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) that monitors the situation in Kashmir.
Alcain will succeed Major General Per Gustaf Lodin of Sweden, who will complete his two-year assignment in July 2018.
Alcain has had a distinguished career with the Uruguayan Army since 1977. Most recently, he held the position of Director of the National Health Service of the Armed Forces (2015-2018).
He graduated from the Uruguayan War College and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in political science from the Uruguayan National University. He has also attended the UN senior mission leaders course in 2017.
UNMOGIP, which has personnel from 10 countries comprising 44 military members and 72 civilian staff, began operations in 1949.
India maintains that the UNMOGIP has been made irrelevant by the 1972 Shimla Agreement between Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto that recognises the Kashmir dispute as a bilateral issue.
In 2014, India asked the UNMOGIP to leave the government building it had provided the mission.
According to the Security Council mandate given in resolution 307 of 1971, UNMOGIP observes and reports on ceasefire violations along and across the Line of Control (LoC) and the working boundary between the South Asian neighbours in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as reports developments that could lead to ceasefire violations.