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Rwanda to send 140 peacekeepers to Mali

KIGALI, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Rwanda will deploy 140 police officers to reinforce the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, an official statement said Thursday.

The maiden contingent, including 17 female police officers, will serve for one year in the West African nation.

In late April 2013, the UN Security Council approved a 12,600-strong UN mission in Mali to take over from an African-led mission, authorizing the blue helmets "to use all necessary means" to carry out security-related stabilization tasks.

The UN mission's core task is to support the political process in Mali in close coordination with the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States.

Mali has been in political turmoil since a coup by extremists in early 2012.

Rwandan senior military officer Maj. Gen. Jean Bosco Kazura has been recently appointed as the force commander of the UN mission known as MINUSMA.

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