Press Release

General Deconinck, new Force Commander for large UN mission in Mali

General Deconinck, new Force Commander for large UN mission in Mali


General Deconinck has been appointed by the UN as new Force Commander for the MINUSMA operation in Mali.



MINUSMA (the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali) is a UN peacekeeping mission in Mali. The mission started in July 2013 with the aim of stabilising the country and supporting political processes there. MINUSMA has an extensive mandate: supporting Malian authorities in stabilising population centres in the north of the country, protecting citizens from physical violence, supporting the ceasefire, promoting a political dialogue and election process, and supporting national and coordinating international efforts to rebuild Mali's security services (police and gendarmerie).


MINUSMA is one of the biggest UN missions, with a budget of 933 million dollars. The mission is spread across 13 locations in Mali, and involves 10,320 soldiers from 30 countries and 1,105 police officers from 23 countries. Belgium currently has 7 soldiers active in MINUSMA. According to UN Security Council Resolution 2295, MINUSMA can comprise a maximum of 15,209 uniformed personnel (13,289 soldiers and 1,920 police officers).


General Deconinck has been Land Component Commander of the Belgian Army since 1 October 2014. He began his career at the 3rd Lancers Regiment, an armoured unit that was then stationed in the German town of Spich. He has also worked on the reorganisation of the Land Component's units, commanded among other things the European Union Battle Group (2009), and was assistant to the deputy chief of Operations and Training.


In December 2016, Belgium's Armed Forces also took charge of the EUTM Mali mission.

Quote from Prime Minister Charles Michel

’By entrusting us with the role of Force Commander in one of its most important peace missions, the UN has shown its belief in our armed forces and in our country.

It is an honour for Belgium to contribute to the agreement for peace and the reconstruction in Mali by the government, the armed coalition groups Platform and Coordination, and other Malian stakeholders.

This contribution, in accordance with the government agreement, demonstrates our will to invest in UN missions, in the same way that we carry out our European and Euro-Atlantic engagements.’’


Quote from Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders

’With the appointment of this experienced man, our country is showing its commitment to protecting people in the Sahel. Belgium is working with the United Nations for peace and security in the region.’’


Quote from Minister of Defence, Steven Vandeput

’General Deconinck's appointment as Force Commander once again illustrates our commitment in the fight against terrorism. The Sahel is one of the most fragile regions on the planet. It is vital that the EU and European countries continue to play a role in the region's stabilisation. I wish General Deconinck great success in his new role.’’


More information about MINUSMA?

More information about the involvement of Belgium's armed forces in Mali?