Leadership Force

Lieutenant-General Balla Keita Lieutenant-General Balla Keita (Senegal)

Force Commander 

Lieutenant-General Balla Keita Lieutenant-General Balla Keita was appointed on 11 February 2016 as Force Commander of the Multidimensional Integrated UN Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA).

Major-General Balla Keita brings to MINUSCA extensive leadership and operational experience. Prior to his appointment, he served as Deputy Force Commander of the African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

From 2007 to 2010, he served as Sector Commander in Darfur, and, as Chief Operating within MONUC (now MONUSCO) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in 2001.

He had previously held various senior positions in other peacekeeping missions in Liberia and in Guinea-Bissau.

Major General Balla Keita also occupied key posits within the Senegalese army, including the position of Inspector General of Senegalese Armed Forces and of Chief of Staff for more than two years.

He also has worked for the Senegalese Special Forces for more than fifteen years and brings in an experience of nearly 40 years in the service.

Born on 25 April 1956 in Malilounda (Senegal), Major-General Balla Keita completed his military studies in France, USA and Germany.

He succeeds to Major General Martin Chomu Tumenta (Cameroon) who passed on 30 November 2015, from illness.

Major general Marco António Mendes Paulino Serronha ( Portugal ) 

Deputy Force Commander 

joined the Military Academy in 1978, where he have finished his degree in Military Sciences, Infantry Course.

He has initiated his carrier as an Officer in the Infantry School, where, between 1983 and 1985 served as platoon Commander and Instructor of several courses. In 1985, in the 1st Infantry Regiment was Commander of the Training Company and Rifle Company. When promoted to Captain in 1987 he was located in the Commandos Regiment, where he has commanded Training and Commandos Companies.

In 1991 he has begun to work in the Army Staff where he was part of the Working Group for Reorganization of the Army. In 1993 he was promoted to Major and was assigned to the Force Planning Division of the Army Staff. In 1995 he undertook the role of Chief of the Advisory Board of the Commandos Project in Angola. Later, he served as Military Assistant of the Army Chief of Staff.

In November, 1996 he was nominated Chief of Operations of the Mechanized Brigade, a role which carried out until 1998, the same year which he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and started to carry out functions of Commander of the 2nd Mech Battalion until 2001. Still in this period he has commanded the Portuguese deployed force (2nd BIMEC/SFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In 2001, in the War College he held functions as professor, Interim Chief of Tactical Section and Deputy director of the Army Staff Course until 2002 when he was nominated Commander of the Commandos Battalion.

In 2003 he was nominated Military Assistant of the Portuguese Military Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels, a position he hold until 2006. When promoted to Colonel he was nominated Commander of the Commandos Unit between 2006 and 2008 and later he was assigned to the Army General Inspection between 2008 and 2009.

In the period of August of 2010 and September of 2011 he carried out the function of Deputy Commander of the NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR), as Brigadier General. In the end of this mission he became the Chief Inspector of the Land Forces Command.

As Major General, on January 7, 2013 he was nominated by the Minister of National Defence to the position of Operational Commander of Madeira Islands, double heated as Commander of the Military Zone of Madeira.

He is qualified with the course of promotion to Senior Officer, Army Staff Course, and course of promotion to General Officer. He also owns the Commandos Course and Special Operations Course, the Senior Course of the NATO Defence College, the International Military Course in the Law of Armed conflicts of the International Institut of Humanitarian Law and a Master degree in Strategy from the College of Social and Political Sciences.

He still owns the following commendations: medal of “Ordem Militar de Avis Grande Oficial”,  5 Distinguished Service medals, medals of 1st and 3rd military merit class, medal “Cruz de São Jorge” of 1st class, medal “D. Afonso Henriques” of 1st Class and medal of Exemplary behaviour, Gold and Silver. He also possesses several commendations of friendly countries and allies.

From March 2016 to September 2017 he took office as Coordinating Director of the Army Staff.

This year up to MINUSCA Deputy Force Commander he was the Deputy Commander of the Portuguese Land Force Command.

He is married with Mrs Madalena Rosa Alves.

Force Chief of Staff MINUSCA

Brigadier General Franck Chatelus took over from Brigadier General Rémi SEIGLE as the Force Chief of Staff on Friday 26 July, 2019.
Brigadier General Franck CHATELUS has had a long and distinguished career with the French Armed Forces spanning over thirty-three years.
He graduated from the Special Military Academy of Saint-Cyr (French military academy) in 1986 and chose to follow the Infantry School training. He then served successively in battalions, military schools and in headquarters in a wide variety of functions and missions.
His career has balanced between both operational and administrative / management roles.

At the end of his schooling, he chose the 1st Infantry Regiment – airmobile combat regiment. He served there ceaselessly from 1987 until 1995 as platoon leader and deputy company commander. In 1993, he was appointed company commander of the regimental intelligence unit. From 2000 to 2002 he served as chief operation in the 126th Infantry Regiment. He was then appointed as Commander of the 1st Infantry Regiment from 2007 till 2009. Regarding the operational part of his course, he had also been Chief of Staff of the 6th Light Armored Brigade from 2011 until 2013, followed by Deputy Commander of the same Brigade from 2013 to 2015.

Throughout his career he has served overseas on short term missions as well as deployments to foreign countries on many occasions. These include : French Guyana (platoon leader – 1989 and 1992), Mayotte Island (deputy company commander – 1990), Chad (company commander – 1994), Egypt (Bright star exercise – 2001), Republic of Ivory Coast (battalion commander – 2007), Afghanistan (battalion commander – 2009, French National Component Command chief of staff – 2014), and Mali (Brigade Serval chief of staff – 2013).

His career has also included roles in both human resources management and administration.
From 1995 to 1997, he was posted as head of « planning » section to National NCOs School in Issoire.
From 2002 to 2007 he was appointed to Army headquarters and then Land Army Human Resources Division as head of NCO’s management policy section.
He was again appointed to Land Army Human Resources Division as Head of Senior Officers Orientation Section from 2009 to 2011.
Notable graduations :

He graduated from the French school in aeronautics and space (ISAE) in 1999 and graduated from the National French Joint Defense College in 2000.
His last appointment was Head of the Defense Base (an administrative and support area) of Clermont-Ferrand.
He’s married with five children.