Canada stalled on UN Mali mission because of Trump
OTTAWA — The Canadian Press has learned that Canada may have missed a chance to provide the commanding officer for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali because it wanted to talk first to the Trump administration. The UN put out requests to a handful of top-tier countries in mid-December as the term of the mission’s previous commander, Danish Maj.-Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, was coming to an end. But sources say the Liberal government asked the UN to hold off on a decision until after the government had a chance to consult the new American administration on Canada’s future peacekeeping plans. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said last month he wanted to talk to his American counterpart, Defence Secretary James Mattis, before Canada sent peacekeepers to Africa because, co-ordination with the U.S. is essential. His office said today Canada is still considering its options. Mali is considered the most dangerous UN mission, with more than 100 peacekeepers killed over the past four years.