Windsor Star

Canadian soldier dies in non-combat role

- CANWEST NEWS SERVICE

A Canadian soldier has died in Mali in what the Department of National Defence is calling a non-combat-related incident.

Maj. Luc Racine of the Royal 22nd Regiment in Valcartier, Que., was a member of the Canadian Forces Military Training Assistance Program stationed in the Malian capital of Bamako, which provides dozens of non-NATO countries with training to manage their militaries.

According to a September 2007 Canadian Forces publicatio­n, Racine had previously been stationed as a military observer in Rwanda following the African country’s 1994 genocide.

Since 2006, Racine had been a senior staff member at the Bamako Peacekeepi­ng School, a project jointly funded and operated by the U.S., France, the U.K., Germany, the Netherland­s, Denmark and Switzerlan­d.

“He was helping support peacekeepi­ng operations and capacity building in West Africa,” said Christine Callahan, a Defence Department spokeswoma­n.

The 2007 article said that Racine had been in charge of overseeing the school’s educationa­l component, which trains military officers from West African nations for peacekeepi­ng roles in the often unstable region.

The school was opened in 2003 as a venture between the government­s of France and Mali.

A new facility was opened in April 2007, with modern classrooms and residences capable of boarding 60 officers.

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