Britain to join major new peacekeeping mission in Mali

Additional British military personnel are to be deployed to Mali as part of a 12,500-strong international force aiming to keep the peace in the vulnerable Sahel region.

The UK government announced the authorisation of the mission this week and the troops will initially be deployed for three years as part of a UN requirement.

Together with others from more than 30 nations, they will be responsible for delivering long-range reconnaissance, protecting civilians and detecting potential threats.

It is hoped this will prevent conflicts in Mali that could spread not only into neighbouring states, but also into 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 the world's most vulnerable people and prioritise our humanitarian and security efforts in the Sahel."

Last month, it was revealed that three of Britain's Chinooks already stationed in Mali would be staying there for at least another six months.

The UK currently has around 600 military personnel deployed on peacekeeping operations around the world.

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