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To ask Her Majesty's Government what are their objectives for the forthcoming deployment of 250 UK personnel to Gao in Eastern Mali in support of the UN Peacekeeping Operation; how the deployment will help to address the increasing instability in the region; and how they intend to ensure that British personnel do not become a target or exacerbate the situation.
The UK's deployment to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA, is part of our strategic approach to the increasing instability in the Sahel region, which brings together our development, diplomacy and defence expertise to help tackle the underlying causes of poverty and conflict in the region. Our objectives are fully aligned with the UN mission's mandate. UK troops will deliver a long-range reconnaissance capability. This will provide greater awareness of possible threats, contributing primarily to the protection of civilians but also supporting the safety and security of UN peacekeepers. UK personnel will be thoroughly prepared and given the right training and equipment to conduct their tasks.