While the Prime Minister was spending his time photo-bombing families on beaches in western Canada, the defence minister Harjit Sajan was announcing yet another deployment of Canadian troops overseas. This time the plan is to send 650 troops to conduct operations in Africa.
We have not heard where the troops will be deployed but the 3 countries that have been named as possible candidates are Mali, Congo and the Central African Republic (CAR).
Canada, of course already has significant interests in each of those countries where Canadian companies mine gold, uranium and diamonds.
Almost all the companies have been accused of fueling or directly supporting human rights violations. A UN panel released a report in 2002 called “Report on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth in the Congo.” The report stated that they had clear evidence of violations committed by 8 Canadian mining companies in the Congo alone. Canadian troops have already been to Mali to protect mining interests under the guise of anti-terror initiatives. In the CAR Axmin corporation is desperate to recover the massive Ndassima mine which was taken over in 2012.
And Canada’s new UN ambassador Marc-Andre Blanchard—who also spoke at the same press conference—would know. Before becoming a full time diplomat this long time Liberal fundraiser was CEO of McCarthy Tétrault, a major Canadian corporate law firm which represented Canadian mining firms internationally and specialized in facilitating trans Atlantic pillage.
This new adventure is the third announced military deployment by the new Prime Minister in the first 10 months of his tenure after Iraq and the Baltic deployments. All have been described as open-ended missions and have deliberately vague objectives.
Meanwhile Canada became the second largest supplier of weapons to the Middle East and the sixth largest military exporter overall.