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French general to head UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon

26 January 2004 Maj. Gen. Alain Pellegrini of France has been named as the new Force Commander of the United Nations peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon.

General Pellegrini, 57, will take over from Maj. Gen. Lalit Mohan Tewari of India as head of the 2,000-strong UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) starting in mid-February, a spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced today.

UNIFIL was created in 1978 to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore peace and security and help Beirut restore its effective authority over the area.

General Pellegrini served in Sarajevo and Mostar in 1995-96 with the UN Protection Force in the former Yugoslavia (UNPROFOR) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led Implementation Force (IFOR).

Currently the Special Adviser on Africa and the Middle East to the French Chief of Defence Staff, General Pellegrini has held various military appointments both in his country and abroad during a career spanning over three decades.

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