Canada pledges transport plane for Mali

Comment on this story
iol pic afr Mali Fighting~1 AP In this August 31, 2012 file photo, fighters from Islamist group Ansar Dine stand guard in Timbuktu, Mali.

Ottawa - Canada will send a military transport plane to provide temporary heavy-lift support for a French campaign against Islamist rebels in Mali, the government said on Monday.

“While the Government of Canada is not, and will not be, considering a direct Canadian military mission in Mali, Canada is prepared ... to provide limited and clearly defined logistical support to assist the forces that are intervening in Mali,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement.

Acting on a French request, a giant C-17 cargo aircraft will fly from Canada to France and then on to the Malian capital Bamako, where it will unload, Harper said. The plane will be made available for a week.

Al Qaeda-linked Islamist rebels launched a counteroffensive in Mali on Monday after four days of French air strikes on their northern strongholds.

“(We are) deeply concerned by recent events in Mali. The establishment of a terrorist region in the middle of Africa is of grave concern to the broader international community, including Canada and our close allies,” said Harper.

Canada's appetite for military intervention is low following a five-year mission to Afghanistan, which ended in 2011 after 158 soldiers were killed.

Britain has made available two C-17 transport planes which will ferry French medical gear, tanks and other equipment to Mali this week. - Reuters

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines