Language selection



Heroes Remember

The only confrontation I had was as a result of some personality conflicts, where particularly on the Bosnian-Muslim side because they did have this idea that hey we’re the Country we should have priority, a country. They wanted things to happen too fast. The airport agreement was very much, you know, the airport operates. The weapons move back. There’s a period of peace, absence of killing, for maybe 48 hours a week, whatever, and then the guns would move back even further and then further over a period of time, maybe two months. Whereas, as soon as I arrive in Sarajevo, certain individuals wanted them to move back all the way there tomorrow, you know, type of thing. So that’s where you had your confrontation, but it wasn’t knock down, drag him out, arguing back and forth. It was just forceful speaking. One of the tricks was the Bosnian-Muslim would move their mortar positions beside the hospital and then fire at the Serbs. Serbs would fire back, hit the hospital, and CNN would film, you know, the maternity ward being hammered. I couldn’t do much about that other than order them not to do it, cause it’s a contravention to international law. But then they started to set up more positions beside the Royal Canadian Regiment’s camp and fired at the Serbs and the the shells were coming back into the camp. So I asked, asked the Bosnian Minister of Defence to stop doing that and the same thing happened the next day and then I went in and said, “Alright, I will kill your people. I will have my people kill your people if you don’t stop doing that. If you keep firing then we’ll go out and...”. “You can’t do that. You’re a peacekeeper.” “That’s what we will do!” So those were the rare confrontations that we had.

Under command, Major-General MacKenzie tells of situations when experiencing confrontations with the opposition.

Lewis MacKenzie

Major-General Lewis Mackenzie was born April 30, 1940 in Truro, Nova Scotia and raised in nearby Princeport. He is a graduate of Xavier Junior College, Sydney, Cape Breton and the University of Manitoba. He is a retired general, author and media commentator. General MacKenzie is famous for establishing and commanding Sector Sarajevo’s part of the United Nations Protection Force UNPROFOR in Yugoslavia in 1992. As a result he became the only Canadian, military or civilian, to be awarded a second Meritorious Service Cross. After his many years of service, General MacKenzie retired from the Canadian Forces in 1993. His personal account of his military experiences are written in a book he wrote, “Peacekeeper, Road to Sarajevo”. As well, MacKenzie wrote his second book, “Soldiers Made Me Look Good”. Since retirement, MacKenzie is a regular commentator and in demand as a lecturer in leadership. Major-General MacKenzie continues his role as a leader and a positive influence for the Canadian Youth.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Lewis MacKenzie
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Royal Canadian Regiment

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: