Canada sending troops to UN peacekeeping mission in Mali

Armée Canadien au Mali

The Canadian military will deploy helicopters and support troops, including medical teams, to the troubled West African nation of Mali later this year, CBC News has learned.

A senior government official, speaking on background, said a formal announcement will be made Monday.

The deployment is in response to a direct request from the United Nations.

Details on how many choppers and personnel will be involved are still being worked out, but the official said the UN has been served with formal notice of Canada’s participation.

The helicopters presumably would replace a German contingent which has been flying transport and medical evacuation missions in Mali.

Trudeau, who is on vacation in Florida, spoke by phone on Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Mark Rutte, the prime minister of the Netherlands.

Both countries have been actively pressuring Canada behind the scenes at the UN to make the commitment. Trudeau took the opportunity to brief both leaders on the decision, said the source.