Camp­bell next Aussie de­fense chief:

Arab Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

An Aus­tralian army gen­eral who led a se­cre­tive mil­i­tary oper­a­tion to stop asy­lum seek­ers from com­ing to Aus­tralia by boat was named on Mon­day as the coun­try’s next de­fense force chief.

Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull said Lt Gen An­gus Camp­bell will re­place Air Chief Mar­shall Mark Bin­skin as chief of the Aus­tralian De­fense Force in July. Bin­skin will re­tire af­ter four years in the top job.

Camp­bell came to pub­lic at­ten­tion as the com­man­der of Oper­a­tion Sovereign Borders, an oper­a­tion es­tab­lished by a newly elected con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment in 2013 to stop thou­sands of asy­lum seek­ers from the Mid­dle East, Africa and Asia from reach­ing Aus­tralian shores in rick­ety In­done­sian fish­ing boats at a rate of 37 boats a month.

No asy­lum seeker boat has reached Aus­tralia since July 2014, al­though the gov­ern­ment is se­cre­tive about what tac­tics are used to stop them.

The gov­ern­ment re­cently an­nounced that 32 boats car­ry­ing 800 peo­ple had been turned back to In­done­sia since 2013, a prac­tice that In­done­sians con­sider an af­front to their sovereignty.

Camp­bell was pro­moted to chief of the army in 2015. (AP)

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