Canada will deploy an infantry unit and military trainers along with attack and transport helicopters to Mali for 12 months in support of an ongoing UN peacekeeping mission, the government announced on Monday.
"The task force will include two Chinook helicopters to provide much-needed transport and logistics capability, as well as four armed Griffin helicopters for armed escort and protection," Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan told a press conference.
A date for Canada's first deployment in Africa since its troubled mission to Rwanda in 1994 and the exact number of troops that will be sent have yet to be decided, he added.
The pledge comes after Ottawa last November said it would send a Hercules aircraft to the UN regional support center in Entebbe, Uganda, which backs UN operations throughout Africa, as well as make available to the UN a rapid response force of 200 soldiers.
Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, meanwhile, said the unit heading to Mali would include women soldiers to meet a demand for gender perspectives in securing peace and security in hotspots.