The outgoing Force Commander of the UN Mission in Mali, Maj. Gen. Jean-Bosco Kazura, was earlier this week bestowed upon the National Order of Mali, by the Malian government in recognition of his role in pacifying the country.
Gen. Kazura received the medal from Malian Defence Minister Bah N’Daw during a ceremony attended by Minusma officials, senior Malian military officials and Mali’s Chief of staff, Brigadier General Mahamane Touré.
During the ceremony, Mali’s Chief of Staff was quoted saying: “You leave us when our expectations are not yet fulfilled, whereas you have accumulated a wealth of expertise that is second to none in the knowledge of the Malian situation. You are well familiar with all the players, the issues, and it is today, when your contribution is vital that you decide not to renew your contract”.
“You did what you could. The ball remains more than ever in the camp of Minusma. Malians have their eyes on the Minusma to fulfill its mandate successfully,” Gen. Touré said,
Kazura thanked the people of Mali and the country’s leaders, particularly President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, for their hospitality.
“I did not come to Mali for its beauty and warmth but for its people and for ourselves, because it would be a shame to think that the problem of Mali is only a national one.
It is global. The Rwandan people will never forget the participation of the Malian army to restore peace in Rwanda after the crisis of 1994. We must put our efforts together to overcome the crisis in Mali,” he said.
Gen. Kazura completes his tour of duty, 18 months after he was appointed to head the UN peacekeeping mission in the West African nation.
He has been heading the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (Minusma), which took over from an African peacekeeping force. Minusma’s current mandate expires in June next year.
It was established by the Security Council under Resolution 2100 and tasked to carry out a number of security-related tasks and support political processes in Mali, including assisting the transitional authorities in extending and re-establishing state administration throughout the country.
Prior to his appointment as Force Commander, Gen. Kazura was Commandant of the RDF School of Infantry in Gabiro. Last Friday, he toured Timbuktu where he urged continued vigilance and discipline on the part of Minusma in bid to fully pacify Mali.