The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) was established on April 25, 2013 to stabilize the country after the Tuareg rebellion of 2012. In June 2023, a new government that had come to power in a coup withdrew the mandate, forcing the mission and all of its staff to depart the country by the end of the year. Joe Ruzicka served as the Senior Advisor to the Commanding General, as well as the Senior U.S. Military Observer to MINUSMA, during that turbulent time. He is in the studio with guest hosts Jonny Drake and TJ Moffatt to discuss his experiences in Mali and why the mission ended. It’s the first of a two-part episode that examines the pros and cons of how the UN mission in Mali was conducted.
In 23 years of service I never thought that I would end up as a senior officer advising a UN peacekeeping mission in the country of Mali.
Joe Ruzicka currently serves as the Chief of Current Operations for United States Army South. He is a colonel and an Armor Officer who has served in various command and staff positions to include the Senior Advisor to the Commanding General, UN Mission, Mali (MINUSMA) as well as the Senior U.S. Military Observer to MINUSMA.
Jonny Drake is a former artilleryman, a current Foreign Area Officer and a colonel in the U.S. Army. He has served in various operational and strategic assignments across Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Eurasia. He is currently the Chief of Peace Operations Division at the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute.
TJ Moffatt is currently the Deputy Director of the U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI). He is a retired colonel who served as both an Infantry Officer and 48C, European Foreign Area Officer in the U.S. Army. With extensive security cooperation experience, he has worked to build partner capacity in many allied and partner countries in eastern Europe and Africa. His last assignments in the Army include Commander, U.S. Military Advisory Group and Director of European Studies/Deputy Dean at the U.S. Army War College.
The views expressed in this presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, U.S. Army, Department of Defense or the United Nations.
Photo Description: Blue helmets from the Nigerien contingent of MINUSMA provide security during the arrival of the delegation of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Mali, El-Ghassim WANE in Ménaka to meet local authorities, internally displaced persons and humanitarian actors.
Photo Credit: MINUSMA/Harandane Dicko