Tribute to General Mountaga Diallo before leaving MONUC
19 dec. 03 | Yulu Kabamba
MONUC and DRC Government officials paid glowing tributes to MONUC Force Commander, General Mountaga Diallo, on 16 December 2003, during a farewell party in his honor on the occasion of his departure from the Mission.
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, William Lacy Swing, described General Mountaga Diallo?s contribution to the DRC peace process as outstanding. General Diallo « is a skilled soldier, an excellent diplomat and a true gentleman», declared Mr. Swing, hailing his courage, patience and calm. He commended the General for the spirits of solidarity and teamwork he instilled between the Mission?s civilian and military staff. « His troops consider him to be a close-to-the-soldiers General, which is the highest compliment to a General?», Mr. Swing further said, before adding: «Never before, during my forty-year career, had I enjoyed the type of professional collaboration that was between the two of us».
The next person to take the floor, after Mr. Swing, was the head of the Political, Defence and Security Commission, Vice-president Azarias Ruberwa, who said that besides the high-ranking officer, Mountaga Diallo proved to be « a distinguished diplomat whose wisdom contributed to defuse many crises». He regretted that he had to depart from the DRC « at a time when he should relish, together with the Congolese people, the peace which he has worked for».
General Diallo, praised the Congolese people and the transitional actors. He also encouraged them to be clear-sighted, to surpass themselves in consolidating the peace and to fully engage in the reconciliation and reconstruction of the DRC. « So doing, they will always have the international community and MONUC on their side», he said. « I can now leave with a serene mind after the series of successes achieved by dint of combined sacrifice during the last 12 months», MONUC military Chief further said.
MONUC Force Commander paid tributes to the Special Representatives who successively led the Mission. He praised Kamel Morjane for his sense of warm welcome and friendship whom he credited with the launching of MONUC deployment and the successful phase 2 of MONUC operations. Next he praised Namanga Ngongi for his quickness of mind and insight, which led to the Mission?s rise and expansion in the East; and which also « contributed somewhat to usher in the Transition». General Diallo finally extolled William Lacy Swing?s virtues indicating « A man whose experience of difficult situations is only equaled by his inexhaustible energy», further adding: « I will ever remain grateful to him for the esteem I enjoyed from him and his action which makes me leave MONUC with a certain amount of pride for leaving behind a more robust Force and a stronger and more respected MONUC».
General Mountaga Diallo, 61, is leaving MONUC and the DRC after leading MONUC Force for nearly four years. He is due to retire from the Army on 31 December 2003, after 40 years, 3 months and 20 days service.