Earlier this month, it was announced that Canada’s deployment to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA, will be extended until the end of August. The detachment of helicopters was originally scheduled to leave a month earlier.
However, Romania, who are taking over the transport and medical evacuation tasks from Canada, will not have their troops and equipment in place until October.
Media reports say that “it’s not clear why the government was reluctant to push the handover to October, but testimony before the Commons defence committee suggested military planners were anxious to bring the helicopters home so they can be available for domestic deployments involving natural disasters.”
For a more in-depth consideration of Canada’s Mali deployment, The Walrus recently published an article, “Was Canada’s Peacekeeping Stint in Mali Just for Show?” by Richard Poplak.