Mali: Peacekeeping Operations

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 15th June 2021.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to award commendations to the members of the armed forces involved in seizing a cache of weapons hidden by a suspected Islamic State cell in Mali in May 2021.

Photo of James Heappey James Heappey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

I am immensely proud of the contribution of all UK Armed Forces personnel to defence operations in Mali. The UK contributes to Operation BARKHANE providing vital Chinook heavy lift logistical support, and MINUSMA (the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali), where the UK reconnaissance group operates at significant range, enhancing the mission's intelligence picture and providing reassurance to hitherto unreached communities faced with significant terrorist threats.

Recently, UK troops, in a first for MINUSMA, seized a cache of weapons from a suspected terrorist cell, demonstrating the high capability of the UK force and the positive impact they have in improving the safety of the Malian population. I commend the individuals involved and the wider task force, who have all been instrumental in establishing the UK as a key partner of the MINUSMA force.

Noting the good work of all UK Service personnel who support MINUSMA, Armed Forces personnel are awarded the UN Medal on having completed 90 days accumulated service.

As is standard process, all Service personnel are considered for commendations and awards under the UK honours and awards systems.

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