Army Commander briefs troops being deployed to Mali

Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva briefed a new contingent of troops being deployed to Mali to join the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA).

The new team is being sent after the UN raised concerns over Silva’s appointment as Army Commander as a result of human rights allegations linked to him.

The new contingent of 243 Army personnel of the Combat Convoy Company (CCC) of the Sri Lanka Army, set to leave for Mali, presented a formal military salute to the Commander of the Army at the Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment (VIR) Headquarters at Boyagane.

The Sri Lankan CCC, comprised of 20 Officers and 223 Other Ranks representing 13 Regiments of the Army, is scheduled to depart for Mali, the landlocked West African country on 12-13 November.

The CCC is comprised of Army Officers and Other Ranks of the Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment (VIR), the majority in the contingent as well as members of the Sri Lanka National Guard (SLNG), Sri Lanka Armoured Corps (SLAC), Sri Lanka Engineers (SLE), Sri Lanka Signal Corps (SLSC), Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (SLSR), Mechanized Infantry Regiment (MIR), Corps of Engineer Services (CES), Sri Lanka Army Service Corps (SLASC), Sri Lanka Army Ordnance Corps (SLAOC), Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (SLEME), Sri Lanka Corps of Military (SLCMP) and Sri Lanka Army Medical Corps (SLAMC).

The first group of 43 peacekeepers will leave on 12 November and the remainder of 200 personnel are set to depart on 13 November. Similarly, CCC 196 troops (Phase I) already serving in Mali will return home on Thursday (14).