United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has announced the appointment of Lieutenant General Cornelis Johannes Matthijssen of the Netherlands as Force Commander of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.
Lieutenant General Matthijssen succeeds Lieutenant General Dennis Gyllensporre of Sweden to whom the Secretary-General is appreciative for his model help and initiative of the Integrated Stabilization Mission.
Filling in as Deputy Chief of Staff Plans at The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Allied Joint Force Command beginning around 2019, Lieutenant General Matthijssen has a long and recognized career since joining the Royal Netherlands Army in 1982, strikingly filling in as the Deputy Commander of the Royal Netherlands Army (2017-2019).
He also commanded the 11th Air Assault Brigade of the Royal Netherlands Army (2014-2017), which included a year as NATO’s interim Very High Readiness Joint Task Force and served as Military Adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2013-2014) as well as Director of Staff Headquarters of the Royal Netherlands Army (2010-2013).
Lieutenant General Matthijssen has broad global functional experience, filling in as the Commander of Uruzgan Task Force, an International Security Assistance Force detachment size unit sent in Afghanistan (2008-2009), as the Commander of the Dutch thirteenth Air Assault Infantry Battalion that was conveyed as a battlegroup, as a component of the Stabilization Force in Iraq in 2004, and as a Company Commander of the Dutch Battalion conveyed with the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina (1995).
Lieutenant General Matthijssen is an alum of the Netherlands Royal Military Academy, the Netherlands Defense College and US Army War College. He holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College.