Mali conflict: how British forces are helping France tackle Africa's Islamists. Mali exposed and revealed what I call ‘counter-insurgency politics’. The UK government's decision to deploy an additional 250 soldiers to join the United Nations mission in Mali might be in Britain's security interests. “We’re proud to be the first British soldiers to join in this team effort.” Jihadists launched an insurgency in northern Mali in 2012 before being routed by French military intervention. The probe refers directly to seven prominent figures in Malian society who were arrested on 21 December on suspicion of fomenting a coup d’etat. The British Peace Support Team (South Africa) has recently been involved in training UN peacekeepers deployed to Mali. British soldiers have arrived in Mali to join the world's most dangerous UN peacekeeping mission in the war-torn west African country. The UK is to deploy about 330 military personnel to Mali and West Africa to support French forces there, Downing Street says. The giant RAF C-17 Globemaster roared out of the clear, desert sky before landing on a … They then regrouped and advanced into the nation’s ethnically volatile center. In one of her last acts as British Defence Secretary, Penny Mordaunt announced 250 troops will be deployed to support the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, but for this to be effective it needs better strategic thinking about the UK’s offer to its partners in the Sahel and the African continent. Gen. The intention is to prevent extremists of any nature from operating in the anarchic Sahel region, and in particular to prevent them planning attacks on Europe. The United Kingdom will in 2020 deploy 250 military personnel to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali, defense secretary Penny Mordaunt announced on Monday, July 22. “Based in Gao, 250 personnel will deploy in response to a U.N. requirement and will address a key capability gap,” a Ministry of Defense release said. The Johnson government's motivation behind the deployment is unclear. In Financial Year 2015/16, the UK is contributing £37.5 million towards the cost of MINUSMA. The UK has consistently supported UN and EU military operations in Mali in recent years. In Mali, the difficulties in implementing this division of labour have revealed the intense international politics involved in defining, and laying claims to, the tolerable limits of military intervention. The British government has usually left military involvement to the French in the latter's former colonies, including Mali. Two British military personnel have been deployed with MINUSMA each year since 2014. 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