The Minister of National Defence Harjit S. Sajjan, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland announced on August 15, 2019 the Government of Canada will provide the UN with tactical airlift support out of Entebbe, in Uganda, during the next 12 months beginning as early as August 2019.
The Tactical Airlift Detachment will consist of one CC-130J Hercules aircraft, operated and supported by up to 25 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel.
It will deploy for up to five days each month to assist with transporting troops, equipment and supplies to the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
“Today’s announcement fulfills a commitment we made during the Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in Vancouver in November 2017. This capability will play an important role in helping supply military and police personnel on UN peace operations in the region, with critical resources. We look forward to working with other Member States to turn this flexible capability into another smart pledge rotation,” says the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence.
During the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial hosted by Canada in Vancouver in November 2017, Canada committed a number of “smart pledges” of high value military capabilities to be deployed in a 5-year timeframe with planned and predictable rotations with other member states.
These pledges were a Quick Reaction Force and accompanying equipment; an Aviation Task Force of medium utility and armed helicopters; and a tactical airlift support to address critical gaps in the UN’s ability to transport troops, equipment, and supplies to their missions.
One of the initiatives brought forward during Vancouver, Canada launched the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations and the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers.
As part of the Elsie Initiative, Canada is partnering with the Ghana Armed Forces and the Zambia Police Service to deliver bilateral technical assistance and training, and collaborated with the UN to design and launch the Elsie Initiative Fund for Uniformed Women in Peace Operations, which will support the deployment of more trained and qualified women as uniformed peacekeepers.
Since the launch of the Vancouver Principles in 2017, 93 countries have endorsed these principles.
“Canada is committed to peacekeeping and working with our partners to support peace for people in the most conflict-ridden parts of the world. This UN mission in Entebbe is an excellent example of the smart pledges that Canada will continue to support so we can fill critical gaps in UN peacekeeping,” says the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Canada has also led a collaborative process to develop implementation guidance to assist member states in operationalizing the Vancouver Principles.
The CAF and the UN are expected to finalize the details and arrangements of the first deployment in the coming days.