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Lithuania is planning to send this year a platoon of soldiers to a UN peacekeeping mission in the West African country Mali, where France is leading international efforts to combat Islamic militants.
In Mali
In Mali
© Vida Press

"In the second half of this year, Lithuania plans to expand its participation in the UN mission MINUSMA by sending a land force platoon-sized unit to ensure force protection functions," Asta Galdikaitė, spokeswoman for the Lithuanian Defence Ministry, told BNS.

The platoon will consist of around 30 soldiers, she said.

Four Lithuanian officers are currently serving in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) in Mali and one more is preparing to join the mission.

In response to France's request, the Lithuanian parliament in December 2015 gave the green light for up to 40 Lithuanian troops to be sent to MINUSMA, but their deployment has taken time. The peacekeeping force consists of over 13,000 soldiers from more than 100 countries.

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