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Canada to send more soldiers to Haiti

Chris

Well-Known TRIBEr
Surprised no one said anything about this yet?

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HALIFAX - Canada will send 450 troops to help bring order to Haiti, Defence Minister David Pratt said Friday.


India Company set to go to Haiti.

Pratt, along with Gen. Ray Henault, chief of defence staff, said the forces would be there for a 90-day mission.

"The chief of defence staff has advised me that the Canadian Forces can fulfil this mission and do so effectively and successfully with the same level of professionalism and dedication for which they are so well known around the world," Pratt said in Halifax.

The Canadian force includes three infantry platoons and six helicopters from 430 Squadron in Valcartier, Que., as well as members of India Company of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment, based at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick.


The unit at Gagetown has been on eight-hour standby since Canada promised to send support to join an international peacekeeping mission after president Jean-Bertrand Aristide fled the country on Sunday.

Some members of the Canadian Forces joint operations group, based in Kingston, Ont., will also be part of the contingent, which will include military police, logistical and support staff, and medical and intelligence personnel.

Pratt said the troops would be leaving Canada in the next few days.

Soldiers will help patrol the area, help provide humanitarian assistance, assist police and provide protection, Pratt said.

"This is a mission to restore stability," Henault said.

Armed rebels had been clashing with Haitian police for weeks as they advanced toward the capital of Port-au-Prince to seek Aristide's resignation. As many as 130 people died.

On Thursday, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan urged Canada to do more to contribute to the Haiti mission, particularly by sending well-equipped troops.

"Canada has produced such men and women, and I hope they will continue to invest in them and make some of them available to us," said Annan.

Also on Thursday, members of Canada's Haitian community met with Prime Minister Paul Martin and asked him to help rebuild the poverty-ravaged country.

Canada already has about 100 military personnel in Haiti. The U.S. and France have sent larger groups of soldiers.

Written by CBC News Online staff
 
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