Harjit Sajjan says Canada to send military to Africa for a ‘long duration’

Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan walks past an honor guard as he arrives to attend a meeting of defense ministers of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, July 20, 2016. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

OTTAWA – 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.

READ MORE: Harjit Sajjan to visit DRC ahead of peacekeeping mission decision

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.

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

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