UK to send 250 troops to Mali for peacekeeping operations

The Defence Secretary has announced that the UK will deploy 250 troops to Mali in 2020 to support the UN Peacekeeping Operation in the African country.

In what it says is a recognition of the increasing instability in the Sahel region, the UK Government say it has authorised a large-scale British peacekeeping deployment to Eastern Mali. Based in Gao, 250 personnel will deploy in response to a UN requirement and will address a key capability gap for the UN Mission.

“Initially deploying for three years as part of a 12,500 strong international force, the UK contribution will assist the UN mission as it seeks to deliver long-term and sustainable peace in Mali. UK personnel will operate alongside troops from more than 30 countries, and will deliver a long-range reconnaissance capability, providing greater awareness of possible threats and contributing to the protection of civilians.

By working to stabilise fragile states and tackling the root causes of conflict, the UK is preventing conflict spilling over to neighbouring states. This deployment will help address the increasing instability in the region, its impact along the West African coast and the threat to Southern Europe.”

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

“In one of the world’s poorest and most fragile regions it is right that we support some of world’s most vulnerable people and prioritise our humanitarian and security efforts in the Sahel.

UK service personnel will work with our partners in the region to help promote peace by combating the threat of violent extremism and protecting human rights in Mali.”

This deployment will be complemented by UK staff officers in the UN mission headquarters and new training programmes with troops from other partnering nations who will be deploying to the UN operation.