The Defence Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, has announced that UK Armed Forces will deploy to Mali in 2020 in support of the UN Peacekeeping Operation.
In recognition of the increasing instability in the Sahel region, the UK Government has authorised a large-scale British peacekeeping deployment to Eastern Mali. Based in Gao, 250 personnel will deploy in response to a UN requirement and will address a key capability gap for the UN Mission.
Initially deploying for three years as part of a 12,500 strong international force, the UK contribution will assist the UN mission as it seeks to deliver long-term and sustainable peace in Mali.
UK personnel will operate alongside troops from more than 30 countries, and will deliver a long-range reconnaissance capability, providing greater awareness of possible threats and contributing to the protection of civilians.
UK service personnel will work with our partners in the region to help promote peace by combating the threat of violent extremism and protecting human rights in Mali, said Defence Secretary, Penny Mordaunt.
This targeted contribution will be complemented by UK staff officers in the UN mission headquarters and new training programmes with troops from other partnering nations who will be deploying to the UN operation.
The UK currently has around 600 personnel deployed on peacekeeping operations and is the 6th largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget. The UK is the lead contributor to the UN mission in Cyprus and in 2020 will conclude a 4-year troop deployment to South Sudan.
As part of the wider package of support offered to the region, the existing commitment of three UK Chinooks and accompanying personnel deployed in support of the French-led counter-terrorism operation in Mali have been extended by six months.