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July 2nd, 2013

Conservatives must support peacekeeping in Mali

OTTAWA – New Democrats called on the Conservative government today to support the UN mission in Mali which is tasked with maintaining peace and stability in preparation for elections later this month.

“The Conservatives are taking a short-sighted approach to Mali,” said New Democrat Foreign Affairs critic Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre). “To achieve our objective of seeing peace and political stability in Mali, Canada should be leading the way in supporting the UN mission, as well as sending Canadian civilian election observers.”

Yesterday the UN began deploying one of its largest ever peacekeeping forces in Mali, taking over from the current French and African-led missions. The UN mission is tasked with maintaining stability and security before, during, and after presidential elections at the end of July. The Conservative government is not providing any dedicated support for the UN mission.

“The peace accord between the Government of Mali and the Tuareg rebels is an encouraging step toward reestablishing democracy in Mali,” said NDP International Development critic Hélène Laverdière (Laurier—Sainte-Marie). “But the situation in Mali is tenuous and the Conservative government’s refusal to assist with post-conflict political normalization in a country where we have always been an important partner is another example of Conservatives abandoning Africa.”