Yesterday, Canadian official revealed that the country is several months away from deploying peacekeepers to Mali in support of a UN mission, rejecting a UN envoy’s call to accelerate its plans.
Spokesperson for Canada’s Defense Minister, Byrne Furlong, said during an interview with AFP: “Details regarding the final structure and chain of command of the Canadian mission in Mali are still to be determined.
She said: “Will be addressed during upcoming reconnaissance and negotiations with the United Nations,” she said.
“It is important to keep in mind that preparing for a mission can take several months.”
Ottawa said in March that it would send an infantry unit, military trainers and six tactical and transport helicopters to Mali in August.
But UN envoy to Mali Mahamat Saleh Annadif said this week the helicopters are needed in June, when Germany pulls out of the mission.
The number of troops and the skill sets to be brought to the mission “will be determined as a result of the planning process and engagement with the UN, partners and the host nation,” Furlong added.