Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

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Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

Post by Trooper on Sat 17 Mar 2018, 7:47 am

It's Canada's first mission in Africa since the tragic Somali and Rwandan operations

By Murray Brewster, CBC News

Posted: Mar 16, 2018


It's not clear yet how many soldiers the Trudeau government is sending to the Mali mission.


The Canadian military will deploy helicopters and support troops, including medical teams, to the troubled West African nation of Mali later this year, CBC News has learned.

A senior government official, speaking on background, said a formal announcement will be made Monday.

The deployment is in response to a direct request from the United Nations.

Details on how many choppers and personnel will be involved are still being worked out, but the official said the UN has been served with formal notice of Canada's participation.

The helicopters presumably would replace a German contingent which has been flying transport and medical evacuation missions in Mali.

Trudeau, who is on vacation in Florida, spoke by phone on Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Mark Rutte, the prime minister of the Netherlands.

Both countries have been actively pressuring Canada behind the scenes at the UN to make the commitment. Trudeau took the opportunity to brief both leaders on the decision, said the source.

When the deployment takes place, it will be the first major step the Liberal government has taken to fulfil its promise to return the Canadian military to peacekeeping.

Last fall, at a Vancouver ministerial summit, Trudeau reaffirmed an earlier pledge to deliver up to 600 troops and 150 police to UN peace support operations.

He laid out a roadmap that included a five-year commitment of helicopters, transport planes, military trainers and a 200-strong rapid reaction force of troops.

The elements, officials said at the time, were to be deployed piecemeal as the UN requested them, and would eventually add up to the 600 personnel that were promised.

Walter Dorn, a professor of defence studies at the Royal Military College of Canada and one of the leading experts on peacekeeping, said it's about time a decision was made.

"It has taken far too long," he said. "I think the cabinet was dithering and delaying. Having said that, I'm pleased the government is actually committing troops, but we have to see how fast they act on it."

Officials speaking on background at last fall's ministerial summit said armed helicopters would be among the aircraft Canada would offer for future missions.

It's likely that the Royal Canadian Air Force would deploy to Mali both its CH-146 Griffons, which have been modified to carry machine guns, and its CH-147-F Chinook battlefield transport helicopters.

The Germans have both armed and transport helicopters in Mali. The Dutch, which provided the contingent before them, also flew both.

A crash involving a Tiger helicopter claimed the lives of two German aircrew in Mali last summer.

A troubled history


Trudeau's commitment in Vancouver was itself a major departure from past policy, which saw Canada send hundreds, even thousands, of troops overseas on peacekeeping operations.

The Mali deployment, which will take place later this year, also marks a return to Africa by the Canadian military, which — in Trudeau's words — has "had a troubled history" of peace missions on the continent.

He was referring to both the Somalia and Rwanda missions of the early 1990s, which ended in scandal and tragedy.

The UN has repeatedly asked Canada for help in Mali, which holds the distinction of being the deadliest peace support operation on the books.

As of the end of February, 162 peacekeepers had been killed in Mali since the mission was established in 2013.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the UN's under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, recently warned the Security Council that the human rights and humanitarian situation in Mali, which is plagued by an insurgency and Islamic extremists, is getting worse.

'We shouldn't rule out fatalities'


The new Canadian deployment comes as the UN plans a restructuring of the mission.

"It will be less dangerous — several times less dangerous — than Afghanistan," said Dorn. "But it will be dangerous and we shouldn't rule out fatalities."

The senior official said that the Liberal government has secured a commitment that Canadian aircrew and troops will be rotated out after 12 months.

That's significant, because one of the major concerns of the government and the Canadian military has been that the UN has lacked a defined rotational system for troops.

Countries deployed on peacekeeping missions sometimes get stuck in place because no other country wants to come in and relieve them.

Since promising a major return to peacekeeping, the Liberals have turned down multiple requests from the UN, including command of the Mali mission and separate military and police training plans in the country.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadian-peacekeeping-mission-mali-1.4580482
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Re: Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

Post by Trooper on Sat 17 Mar 2018, 7:53 am

Canada to send peacekeepers to aid UN mission in Mali


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Re: Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

Post by Trooper on Sat 17 Mar 2018, 7:55 am

Canada to send peacekeepers to aid UN mission in Mali


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Re: Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

Post by Riverdale on Sat 17 Mar 2018, 1:43 pm

Don't understand the concept behind Peacekeeping in this day and age, especially in Mali. 162 Peacekeepers dead since 2013 expect more to come in that particular environment.

I hope those sent over fully understands the way our government has been treating it's injured Veterans. If they get injured they won't get the better lifelong secured benefits that were in place prior to 2006.
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Re: Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

Post by Wolfman on Sat 17 Mar 2018, 6:53 pm

Tory critic questions plan to send Canadian
peacekeepers to Mali

Conservative MP James Bezan asks a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, October 27, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Adrian Wyld)


Morgan Lowrie and Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

Published Saturday, March 17, 2018 5:18PM EDT


The Conservative defence critic is questioning the Trudeau government's decision to send peacekeeping troops to the troubled West African nation of Mali.

A senior government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed late Friday night that Canada will dispatch an aviation task force to Mali as part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission, in a move defence critic James Bezan said raises more questions than answers.

"Why did it take them so long to make this announcement and is this in Canada's national interest or is this in the Liberals' interest? Are they making this announcement because of all the criticism they've received for breaking the promise of deploying 600 troops and 150 police officers on UN missions, when we're at the lowest levels in history?" Bezan said.

The government source said the task force will be in Mali for up to 12 months and an official announcement on the deployment will be made Monday.

In terms of troop numbers, Canada is currently at a historic low for participation in peacekeeping missions. Canada had a total of 43 peacekeepers deployed around the world at the end of December, the most recent UN numbers indicate, down from 62 in November.

The decline, largely the result of a reduction in the number of Canadian police officers deployed to Haiti, means Canada has fewer peacekeepers in the field than at any point since the 1950s.

Bezan said the Conservatives want to see Canada involved in more peacekeeping, including in Ukraine, but said it must be in the national interest and troops must be adequately equipped to fight to protect themselves where terrorism exists. In some cases, he said that could mean its preferable to send them under the Canadian flag instead of UN command.

"Mali looks a lot like Afghanistan, so there is concern about how we are going to keep the peace when we have insurgencies, terrorism, failed states and multiple different missions going at the same time and no answers of how this is in Canada's national interest," Bezan said. "Is it just part of the nostalgia view Liberals have about blue helmets?"

Mali has been in turmoil since a 2012 uprising prompted soldiers to overthrow the country's president. The power vacuum that was created led to an Islamic insurgency and a French-led war that ousted the jihadists from power in 2013.

However, insurgents remain active and the UN has seen its multinational peacekeeping force in the region suffer more than 150 fatalities since its mission began in 2013.

In November, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made pledged during a peacekeeping summit in Vancouver to offer six helicopters and two transport aircraft, plus their associated pilots and support personnel, as well 200 strong quick reaction forces to the UN.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/tory-critic-questions-plan-to-send-canadian-peacekeepers-to-mali-1.3847484
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Re: Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

Post by Jeremiah on Sat 17 Mar 2018, 7:08 pm

The sooner we get rid of this Prime Minister the better. It was only a Month ago he said publicly that some Veterans were asking for to much, now he wants to put our Men & Women in harms way. If he's not willing to keep he's promises to Veterans, and uses Veterans for photo ops he should keep our Men & Women home. Mali is a hot zone and it's really not a place for peacekeeping. My 2 cents.
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Re: Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

Post by prawnstar on Sun 18 Mar 2018, 2:43 pm

If there is no peace to start off with how can it be called a peace keeping mission. The libs better get their sh$t together on this one. The UN is not who I would want calling the shots looking at their track record in Africa.Bullshyte ROEs like, wait till you hear bullets whizzing by your head to return fire should outlawed.

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Re: Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

Post by Maxstar on Sun 18 Mar 2018, 5:27 pm

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Re: Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

Post by Spider on Mon 19 Mar 2018, 8:57 am

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Re: Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

Post by Forcell on Mon 19 Mar 2018, 2:54 pm

Canada to deploy peacekeepers to Africa

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Re: Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

Post by Trooper on Mon 19 Mar 2018, 6:58 pm

Canada sending air task force to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

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Re: Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

Post by Trooper on Mon 19 Mar 2018, 7:08 pm

Conservative MP Lisa Raitt asks PM Justin Trudeau if Canadian soldiers headed to Mali will be able to 'actively engage targets.'

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Re: Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

Post by Trooper on Mon 19 Mar 2018, 7:10 pm

Michel Boyer reports on how Canada will take a logistical and support role and how the Conservatives are reacting to the announcement.

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Re: Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

Post by Trooper on Mon 19 Mar 2018, 7:12 pm

Foreign Affairs Minister Freeland announces Canada's peacekeeping mission in Mali and says increasing women in peacekeeping is a priority.

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Re: Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

Post by Trooper on Mon 19 Mar 2018, 7:14 pm

A helicopter task force will support troops in Mali.

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Re: Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

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