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Russian peacekeepers will leave for Sudan this week

01.01.70

April 17, 2006 (MOSCOW) Russia will send more than 100 servicemen to Sudan this week to participate in a United Nations peacekeeping operation, the Interfax news agency quoted Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov as saying Monday.

Ivanov told President Vladimir Putin that Russia would begin sending an aviation unit in three days, Interfax reported. He said the Russian contingent would comprise 117 servicemen, pilots and technicians, and four Mi-8 cargo helicopters, and that Moscow will send a planeload of blankets, tents and kitchens.

At the same time, under an agreement with G8 countries, Russia "plans to send to Sudan a military transport plane carrying tents, stoves and blankets for the civilian population". The minister noted that the Russian contingent in Sudan "will be periodically rotated".

The U.N. Security Council voted in March 2005 to send 10,700 peacekeepers to southern Sudan to monitor an accord ending a 21-year civil war between the government and rebels, and Russias parliament last December approved Putins proposal to send some 200 troops, four helicopters and other equipment.

There are also U.N. plans for a peacekeeping force in western Sudan, where more than 2 million people have been uprooted from their homes by violence in the Darfur region, but the Sudanese government has not approved a U.N. deployment.

On Tuesday 18 April the UN commission will check the readiness of the Russian aviation unit to be sent on the peacekeeping mission to Sudan at the army aviation flight personnel combat training and retraining centre in Torzhok, the Russian air forces press service told ITAR-TASS. The UN representatives will be shown the technical equipment used by the aviation unit.

Expert opinion

Halter Marek

02.12.06

Halter Marek
Le College de France
Olivier Giscard dEstaing

02.12.06

Olivier Giscard dEstaing
COPAM, France
Mika Ohbayashi

02.12.06

Mika Ohbayashi
Institute for Sustainable Energy Poliy
Bill Pace

02.12.06

Bill Pace
World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy
Peter I. Hajnal

01.12.06

Peter I. Hajnal
Toronto University, G8 Research Group