17 August, 2012
New Zealander to command Sinai Force for another year
Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman announced today that New Zealander Major-General Warren Whiting has been extended as the Force Commander of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in the Sinai to March 2014.
“Major-General Whiting has done an exemplary job leading the MFO during a time of unprecedented change in Egypt and the wider region,” said Dr Coleman.
“The importance of the work of the MFO in supporting stability and peace efforts and the leadership of Major-General Whiting is highly valued.”
The Multinational Force and Observers has monitored the Peace Agreement between Egypt and Israel since 1982.
“Major-General Whiting has obtained the trust and confidence of the governments of Egypt and Israel, resulting in the MFO Secretariat in Rome seeking a further extension”, said Dr Coleman.
Consisting of approximately 1650 military staff and 600 civilians, the MFO operates checkpoints, reconnaissance patrols and observation posts along the international boundary between Egypt and Israel.
The deployment to the MFO is one of New Zealand’s longest running peacekeeping deployments, with a continuous NZDF presence since the mission began in 1982. There are currently 28 NZDF personnel employed in the mission.
“New Zealand is committed to international peacekeeping and peace monitoring efforts. We are playing our part to promote peace and stability in the Middle East,” Dr Coleman said.
Major-General Whiting took command of the MFO in March 2010 for an initial two-year term. This was extended for a period of one year in 2011 and has now been further extended until March 2014.