EU appoints new mission commander for training mission in Mali

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Brigadier General Peter Devogelaere, a Belgian national, has been appointed as mission commander of the EU training mission in Mali. He will take up his duties on 19 December 2016. He will take over from Brigadier General Eric Harvent, who held the post since July 2016.

EUTM Mali assists in the reconstruction of effective and accountable Malian armed forces capable of ensuring the long-term security of Mali and, under civilian authority, restoring the country’s territorial integrity. To this effect, EUTM Mali delivers training to units of the Malian armed forces and develops autonomous training capability. The mission also provides advice to the Malian authorities on reforming the army. The mission was launched on 18 February 2013. Its mandate was recently extended to 18 May 2018. The headquarters of the mission are located in Bamako, Mali.

The mission is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to security and development in the Sahel. Two other CSDP missions are in place in the region: EUCAP Sahel Mali, which supports the Malian state to ensure constitutional and democratic order and the conditions for lasting peace as well as to maintain its authority throughout the entire territory; and EUCAP Sahel Niger, which supports the fight against organised crime and terrorism in Niger.

The decision was adopted by the Political and Security Committee.

In 1980 Colonel Devogelaere (pictured on the right) started his career at the Royal Military Academy as a cadet in the 120th Class. He graduated with a master’s degree in “social and military science”. I

n 1985 he joined the 1st Parachute Battalion as platoon leader and was appointed as instructor at the Commando Training Centre in 1987. In 1990 he was assigned to the 3 rd Parachute Battalion as Company Commander. In 1991 he took part with the 17th Coy in Operation BLUE BEAM in Zaïre (Congo-Kinshasa).

He was then appointed as an instructor to the ILRRPS (International Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol School) in Weingarten, Germany from 1992 till 1994.

In 1995, after completion of the Major’s course, he was appointed to the Infantry School as a tactical instructor for the benefit of company commanders and officers applying to become Major. In 1997 he served as Operations and Training Officer for the 3 rd Parachute Battalion. After the General Staff Course at the Führungsakademie in Hamburg (1999-2001), he was appointed Plans & Policy Officer at the EUROCORPS.

Upon returning to Belgium in 2004 he served as Operations and Training Officer at the IRCC (Immediate Reaction Capability Command).

In 2005 he took up the command of the 3 rd Parachute Battalion and with his unit was deployed to the UNIFIL mission in Lebanon.

In 2007 he joined the Land Component Staff as Synthesis Officer for the Operations and Training Cell, then as Operations Officer and finally as Chief of Staff. He participated in shorter missions to Afghanistan and RDC throughout this period.

As from September 2013 till June 2014, he assumed command of the Land Component Competence Centre.