Farewell of first Female Team Site Commander of MINURSO
On 25 April 2019, SRSG and Head of MINURSO, Colin Stewart, received in his office in Laayoune (Western Sahara), for a final farewell, Lt. Col. (Br. Ar.) Andrea Lourical Firmo de Araujo. Lt. Col. Firmo de Araujo had just completed her one year tour of duty as a Military Observer in MINURSO, and served for 9 months as Team Site Commander in Tifarity, Western Sahara. As the first female Team Site Commander since the inception of the Mission on 9 September 1991, Lt. Col. Firmo de Araujo’s tour broke new ground in implementing the UN’s policy (and UNSG Guterres’ priority) for the advancement of women within the United Nations and peacekeeping.
On 18 April 2019 Lt. Col. Firmo de Araujo ceded command of the Team Site of Tifarity, after a successful period of service, in the presence of MINURSO Deputy Force Commander Brig.-Gen. (Ban. Ar.) Abu Syed Mohammod Bakir. Lt. Col. Firmo de Araujo has previously had a notable military career as a teacher in the Brazilian Army training system. In MINURSO, she also served as Senior National Officer (SNO) for the Brazilian Armed forces contingent within the Mission.
MINURSO works actively to prevent conflict in the Territory of Western Sahara, in support of the efforts of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General to bring the parties to a peaceful political resolution. In close cooperation with UNHQ and MINURSO’s Troop Contributing Countries (TCC), MINURSO continues to make great strides in increasing the number of female military personnel serving in its ranks.