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‘People might die’: Canada’s looming exit leaves concerns over safety of UN Mali peacekeeping mission

By Neil Moss      

‘After having been there and seeing how important it is, we should do everything we can’ to minimize gap between Canada, Romania missions, says Liberal MP Stephen Fuhr.

Canadian, Dutch and German forces are pictured performing an aeromedical evacuation exercise in Gao, Mali on Sept. 1. The Canadian peacekeeping force in Mali has performed seven medical evacuations and will leave the country at the end of July. Photograph courtesy of the Department of National Defence/Ken Beliwicz

Despite pleas from the United Nations to extend its peacekeeping deployment in Mali until Romanian peacekeepers take over in October, Canada has not swayed from its decision to leave after its one-year commitment concludes at the end of July. This could threaten the well-being of the UN mission by losing a vital helicopter medical evacuation capability, experts say, and after seeing operations first hand, a Liberal MP says the government should be looking at trying to shrink the gap.

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