Maj. Gen. Jean Bosco Kazura has been appointed to lead a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali, a mission that seeks to pacify the north of the West African country.
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (Minusma) was established by Security Council resolution 2100 in April to support political processes in that country and carry out a number of security-related tasks.
Gen. Kazura (pictured) was appointed after making a strong impression during an interview with a UN panel, and was described by the global organ as a “military genius with immense experience in peace-keeping,” according to reports.
Another officer from Chad who was contesting for the same position did not convince the panel.
Gen. Kazura has hitherto been the Commandant of Gabiro School of Infantry for Rwanda Defence Forces. He has previously served as Deputy Force
Commander of the African Union Mission in Darfur before the deployment of the Hybrid Mission of AU and UN.
Confirming the appointment, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Louise Mushikiwabo said on her Twitter handle: “General J.B. Kazura will head the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Mali, Minusma. Proud of my Brothers of Rwanda Defence Force!”
The multi-faceted military General previously headed the Federation of Rwanda Football Associations. During his tenure, Rwanda successfully hosted the 2009 African Youth Championship. He resigned in 2011, after more than five years at the helm of the soccer organ.
Rwanda has been on the forefront in contributing toward world peacekeeping missions.
Currently, the RDF deploys 3,000 peacekeepers in Darfur, where the immediate Force Commander until last week was another Rwandan, Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba.
Other missions to which the country has committed a significant number of troops is the UN peace keeping mission in South Sudan where at least 850 Rwandans are deployed as peacekeepers.
More peacekeepers are engaged in missions in other countries such as Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leon, and Ivory Coast.
About the Mali conflict
Series of insurgencies in Mali have led to the death of civilians and government forces, a conflict mainly engineered by Islamist forces in the north struggling to secede from the country.
The conflict led to the overthrow of President Amadou Toumani Touré, who was ousted in a coup d’état by government soldiers who were not happy with the way he handled the crisis.
During the recent African Union Summit in Ethiopia, African leaders pledged more support in terms of providing military and financial support to end the conflicts in Northern Mali.
Meanwhile, official negotiations between the government and National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad began in Burkina Faso, last weekend.
The talks followed two weeks of informal discussions between the two sides on the situation in Kidal that fell to rebels in January 2013.
Other countries such as Norway, Sweden, Ireland and Germany are also in talks to participate in the UN peacekeeping force in Mali.