Germany to deploy helicopters, troops to U.N. mission in Mali

Addis Ababa, January 11, 2017 (FBC) - Germany’s cabinet on Wednesday approved the deployment of eight attack and transport helicopters to Mali as part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission.

The cabinet also approved the deployment of 350 additional soldiers to the African country to help with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

The helicopters will replace those of the Dutch army while the troops will service and maintain the fleet.

After the deployment, Germany will have some 1,000 soldiers in Mali taking part in the 15,000-strong U.N. mission that oversees a peace deal agreed in 2015 between the government and rebels.

The additional deployments will however still have to be approved by the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament.

About 100 peacekeepers have died in Mali, where France launched a military operation in 2013 to push back Islamists who a year earlier had hijacked an ethnic Tuareg uprising in the north of the country.

The cabinet also approved the extension of a mission in northern Iraq, where some 150 soldiers have been training Kurdish fighters battling Islamic State. That mandate also requires parliamentary approval.

Source: CCTV

Posted by Amare Asrat