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Opinion

Canada’s peacekeeping mission in Mali

By NDP MP Randall Garrison      

While the commitment to Mali by the Liberal government is welcome, it still fails to meet the government’s promises made during the 2015 election campaign or the promises made during the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference in Vancouver.

The United Nations' Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix and his delegation, pictured Sept. 2, 2018, meeting with Canadian helicopter crews prior to departing on a flight to Gao, Mali. Photograph courtesy of DND/Corporal Ken Beliwicz

Taking on a support role for the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali is an important mission both for Mali and for Canada. This mission marks a good starting point for the recommitment to international peacekeeping promised by the Liberals during the 2015 election campaign. Canada now has 250 personnel in Mali to provide medical evacuations and other critical transportation services using three Chinook transport helicopters and five armed Griffon helicopters as armed escorts. The delivery on that promise to take on a peacekeeping mission was slow and Canada’s contribution still falls short of the 600 troops and 150 police that the Liberals promised to commit to peace operations nearly four years ago. Yet Canada is once again making a contribution to international peacekeeping.

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