Defence Minister considers deploying Army Rangers to war-torn Mali

Defence Minister considers deploying Army Rangers to war-torn Mali

More than a dozen Army Rangers are to be sent to war-torn Mali under a new proposal from Defence Minister Paul Kehoe.

The UN peacekeeping mission to the African country is considered one of the most dangerous in the world, with 125 killed since 2013 and 18 so far this year.

According to the Sunday Independent, a decision on sending the unit is expected to be approved by Cabinet next week.

If given the green light, the two-year deployment will begin in late summer or early autumn, and will be the first time the Rangers will be deployed overseas since operations in Chad in 2008.

At the moment, there are more than 15,000 uniformed peacekeepers in the MINUSMA (Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali) force, mainly from African countries and Bangladesh.

Mali has seen a recent increase in attacks by militant groups affiliated with al-Qaida who have carried out ambushes and planted Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).


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