Canada is to deploy troops and helicopters to Mali as part of the UN peacekeeping mission there, Canadian media has reported.

Germany and the Netherlands had been pressuring Canada to make the commitment, with the Canadian helicopters expected to replace a German contingent, CBC News reported citing a senior government official.

An official announcement on the deployment, which comes after a direct request from the United Nations, is expected on Monday.

The number of Canadian peacekeepers is currently at its lowest since it became involved in peacekeeping since 1956, CBC reported.

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Mali, in West Africa, has been volatile since separatist rebel groups, and later al-Qaeda-associated militants, took control of the northern region in the wake of a 2012 military coup.

French and African military operations, alongside the Malian army, have restored government control over the area, but rebel activities and military operations continue in some regions, despite the signing of various peace agreements.

The UN has stationed almost 15,000 peacekeepers in Mali to stabilize the country. It is one of the UN’s deadliest missions, with at least 155 peacekeepers killed there since it was established in 2013.

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