For four and a half years, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE’s) Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has been led by Alexander Hug. And although its formal head remains the Turkish Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, it is the deputy that is the real face of the mission in Ukraine. As of November 1, Mark Etherington will be replacing Hug in this important role.
The New Deputy Chief of the OSCE Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Mark Etherington. Photo credit: OSCE
Hromadske has gathered some information on the new deputy chief of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.
Etherington has been in Ukraine since 2014, when the OSCE’s monitoring mission there began. Unlike his predecessor, Etherington has more practical military experience and experience in resolving conflicts in these hot-spots.
The former British military officer studied at the University of York and at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He also has a masters degree in International Relations from the University of Cambridge.
He served in a Parachute Regiment of the British army and took part in military operations in two tours in Northern Ireland.
From 1992 to 1995, Etherington was part of the European Union’s monitoring mission in former Yugoslavia. This was his first experience in post-conflict resolution. He then went on to be involved in European missions in Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo.
In 2003, at the request of the British Foreign Office, Etherington joined the Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq. This was the transitional government that was set up after US and international coalition forces operations in the country.
In particular, Etherington was the Governorate Coordinator of the Wasit province, where the population consists of mainly Shia muslims. It is located just southeast of the capital Baghdad and on the border with Iran. It was one of the problematic regions in Iraq.
He was awarded an Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his peacekeeping work and, in particular, for his work in Iraq.
He also worked in conflict resolution in Afghanistan and South Sudan.