On 17 November, a large majority of Danish parliament supported the government's proposal to send a transport aircraft and soldiers to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali in Western Africa.
Denmark will contribute with a Hercules transport aircraft together with up to 60 associated people, a special operations forces contribution of 30 people – and is open to deploy additional staff officers to the UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). In addition, the Danish National Police is prepared to deploy up to 12 Danish policemen to MINUSMA.
Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kristian Jensen, says:
"We are sending a strong Danish contribution to the peacekeeping mission in Mali with both special operations forces and a transport aircraft. The aim is to stabilize the country and create the conditions for peaceful development. This will help to prevent terrorist groups and curb the illegal migration that we are witnessing in Europe. Since the collapse of Libya, Mali is only one border from Europe, and thus a part of our neighbouring region. At the same time, it is crucial for me to emphasize that Denmark with the contribution to MINUSMA helps to support that the Government of Mali – supported by the international community – will implement policy solutions based on the Malian peace agreement. Our broad engagement provides Denmark with a solid foundation for making a difference in Mali. "
The Danish Minister of Defence, Peter Christensen, says:
"With a transport aircraft and special operations forces, the Danish Defence is providing a good and solid contribution that will help to stabilize Mali together with the other UN contributions. It is important that we do not let terrorist groups gain foothold in the country and the region again. The battle must be fought now, and therefore, it is positive that a majority of parliament supports the UN mission. The soldiers are being sent on a difficult mission, so I am pleased that they in the mission have a robust mandate to use force. It is professional and skilled soldiers that we are deploying, and I am convinced that they will solve the tasks so that we achieve a more secure Mali without safe passage for terrorist groups that could threaten European security.