Coordinating Peacekeeping in Mali

“A red card holder will not be necessary if I do my job correctly!”

Colonel Joost de Wolf has been working in the Netherlands Marine Corps for 30 years. On Thursday 17 April he was sent to Mali as Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Colonel de Wolf details the principles of UN peacekeeping – as opposed to NATO and EU interventions. He describes how peacekeeping has changed since the terrible failures of the 1990s, most notably for the Dutch in Srebrenica. Current peacekeeping missions have a more robust mandate, and better ‘rules of engagement’.

Colonel de Wolf explains how ‘Caveats’ (restrictions that troop-contributing countries place on the use of their forces) and ‘red card holders’ that are part of NATO-operations, are not permitted in UN peacekeeping. However, Colonel de Wolf acknowledges that it will be complicated to cooperate with 36 troop-contributing countries within MINUSMA; and with 2 EU-missions; the French Operation Serval; and the Malian army.

On 10 April 2014, Colonel Joost de Wolf was interviewed by Bruno Braak at the Dutch Ministry of Defense on the Malian conflict, MINUSMA’s goals, and the Dutch contribution.

For more information on MINUSMA please refer to: