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Home NATIONALFinland decides to send troops to Mali
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Sat, 24 Aug, 2013 01:37:39 AM
Maximum 5 military personnel to participate
FTimes Report, August 24

Finland is going to send defence forces to Mali as a part of its contribution to the ongoing Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA ) run by the United Nations.

The President, Sauli Niinistö finalised the decision for sending  the troops to Mali on Friday, said an official press release.

The decision, however, said that the Finnish contribution to the mission would be limited to a maximum five military personnel.

The aim of the mission is to help stabilise the situation in Mali and to support the political process in the country. 

The mission's mandate extends to protecting civilians, promoting human rights and supporting humanitarian assistance.

The Finnish soldiers will be deployed at mission headquarters. The Finnish involvement in the mission forms part of concrete Nordic cooperation that all the Nordic countries are keen to develop in the field of crisis management. The UN mission MINUSMA  has  launched in July this year.

Earlier, on Mach 15, the Defence Minister Carl Haglund said Finland was unlikely to send troops to Mali to combat Al Qaeda-linked extremists.

Talking to newsmen in Rovaniemi after the two-day conference of Nordic defence ministers, Haglund said Finland had sent only 10 instructors to the training camp for educating the forces of Mali.

He said the issue of sending Finnish troops to Mali depended on United Nations request and only after receiving a request from the UN, Finland parliament might give the issue further considerations.

The minister said from the perspective of the Finnish soldiers, the Mali operations was still on an initial stage, with the troops participating in training courses, and they should be able to take care of themselves.

Mali is going through a volatile condition due to resurgence of Islamist militants undermining peace and stability.

France sent combat forces to Mali to assist the country’s armed forces and the European Union launched a military training mission in Mali which involves 170 instructors. At least 500 soldiers from 22 countries are performing peace-keeping duties in Mali now.

Earlier on February 15, the Finnish government decided to send a maximum of 12 soldiers to the proposed military training mission in Mali.

The EU military training mission aimed at providing training and advice to the Malian troops is expected to begin in April.

Finland has been participating in the training mission since 2010 and will continue to deploy a maximum of 10 soldiers until May 2015.

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