Canada’s military plan for Africa will be for a “long duration,” says Sajjan

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Harjit Sajjan

The Canadian Press
Harjit SajjanOttawa: Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says he will soon announce a plan to send Canadian troops on a long-term mission to Africa.

Sajjan says while no decisions have been made yet on numbers, timing or location, Canada’s contribution to a United Nations mission will involve more than the military and go beyond what would be considered a traditional peacekeeping role.

Sajjan made the comment in a teleconference marking the end of a five-country, fact-finding mission to Africa.

The minister visited Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda before making his final stop in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during the eight-day trip.

He was accompanied by former Supreme Court of Canada justice Louise Arbour, who is also a former UN high commissioner for human rights, and retired lieutenant-general Romeo Dallaire, who once commanded a UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda.

Defence and Global Affairs department officials have been assessing the possibility of Canada joining UN peacekeeping operations in Mali or the Central African Republic.