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Supporting Security and Stability in Mali and the Broader Sahel Region

By Canada - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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OTTAWA, Canada, May 14, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation, today announced that Canada will provide additional support to help Mali restore democracy, regain stability and retain its territorial integrity.

“Canada is committed to combatting terrorism in all its forms,” said Baird. “In Mali, that means working with our regional and international partners to ensure that country does not become a safe haven for jihadists and extremists, and helping it restore the democratic order that was once a model for Africa.”

Baird is currently visiting nearby Ghana. Ghana has been a regional leader in attempts to end the Malian crisis and keep that country from undermining stability in the broader Sahel region. “Efforts such as these help make Mali more secure, make Africa more secure and ultimately make Canada more secure,” added Baird.

Canada is committing an additional $10 million to, among other things, support the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) until a new United Nations mission can be set up. Canada will also contribute to a UN-administered trust fund to help Mali restore democratic institutions in advance of planned elections in July and preserve Mali's territorial integrity. Further, Canada will contribute to European Union-led training to help the Malian armed forces protect the basic rights of Malian civilians.

“As a leading donor, Canada will continue to deliver support for food and basic health services to Malians,” said Parliamentary Secretary Brown, who will attend a high-level meeting on Mali in Brussels on Wednesday on behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation. “Canada is a compassionate neighbour and will continue to work with other donors, Canadian non-governmental organizations and multilateral organizations such as the World Food Programme to help save lives and alleviate suffering in Mali.”

Canada also continues to provide much-needed humanitarian and development assistance through non-governmental organizations.

Canada has traditionally been a leading donor to aid projects in Mali. Canada will also contribute directly to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) through its assessed contributions to the United Nations.