The man in charge of blue helmets serving at the UN’s deadliest peacekeeping mission, which is facing serious shortfalls in equipment and personnel, has pledged to succeed - if he’s given the tools to do the job.
Force Commander of the UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), Major General Jean-Paul Deconinck, was speaking on the first day of the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference in Vancouver, Canada.
He briefed ministers and senior military officers attending a special session on bolstering MINUSMA, where more than 30 blue helmets have died on active duty this year, largely following attacks by violent extremists.
UN Peacekeeping chief, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, told the meeting of mostly uniformed men and women, that the UN needed to provide troops better protection “and better-protect the population as well, against the threats they are facing”.
Matt Wells is in Vancouver covering the two-day event, and asked Force Commander Deconinck why he’d come to Canada.