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Disappointment emerges as Canada s Mali mission nears halfway mark

Disappointment emerges as Canada s Mali mission nears halfway mark
Politics
OTTAWA -- Nearly halfway through Canada s 12-month peacekeeping mission in Mali, disappointment is emerging over what some experts see as the Trudeau government s failure to make a real difference in the country.

The United Nations is reporting limited signs of progress in Mali over the past three months, as slight improvements in the political and humanitarian situation have been marred by a dramatic spike in violence.

That includes a marked increase in the number of improvised explosive devices targeting peacekeepers and officials as well as several co-ordinated attacks on UN bases and personnel.

Canada has had about 250 military personnel and eight helicopters in Mali to provide medical evacuations and logistical support since August, while the country has been a top recipient of Canadian foreign aid for years.

Yet several experts say they were hoping the peacekeeping mission would serve as a way for the Trudeau government to deepen its engagement in the UN, Mali and the sub-Saharan region -- which hasn t happened.

They say the government seems to have little interest in Mali or peacekeeping in spite of spending millions of dollars on both.
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