Canada sends soldiers to support mission in Haiti

Updated: 2013-06-20 15:25


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OTTAWA - Canada will dispatch dozens of military personnel to support the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Defense Minister Peter MacKay announced Wednesday.

MacKay said a platoon of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will depart on Friday to operate within a Brazilian battalion in Haiti until December.

The 34 CAF members come from the Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Valcartier, Quebec, and have completed language and peace-support training in Brazil to be prepared for the new mission.

"Their efforts will contribute to one of the CAF's core roles - supporting international peace and security for greater stability in our hemisphere," MacKay said in a news briefing.

The platoon will add to Canada's military contribution to MINUSTAH, which currently includes five Canadian military staff officers deployed on Operation Hamlet. Aside from the MINUSTAH project, there are approximately 90 Canadian police officers serving the United Nations in Haiti.

MINUSTAH was established under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1542 on April 30, 2004, with a mandate to support Haiti's constitutional and political process, maintain a secure and stable environment and to protect human rights.

Its initial term of six months has been repeatedly extended, most recently to Oct 15, 2013.