Photo: Menahem Kahana/Scanpix.

Sweden cuts Mali peacekeeping force

Sweden will not provide a C-130 transport aircraft or 70 personnel to support the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali as previously planned, the TT news agency reports.

Defence Minister Karin Enström said that it had emerged that landing strips at several locations in northern Mali were unfit to be used by the C-130 aircraft.

The Ministry of Defence will now take steps to ascertain whether the aircraft could be sent to Uganda to assist with humanitarian operations in the region from there.

Earlier this year, Sweden announced plans to send the aircraft and around 70 personnel to Mali. The unit was to have begun operations on October 1st.

Following today's announcement, Sweden's contribution to the UN mission in Mali will consist of just five staff officers.

Sweden also has 15 military instructors in the country as part of an EU training initiative.

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