German cabinet approves 800 troops for Congo

17th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

17 May 2006, BERLIN - The German government on Wednesday approved sending up to 800 troops to serve as peacekeepers during elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Defence Minster Franz Josef Jung said.

17 May 2006

BERLIN - The German government on Wednesday approved sending up to 800 troops to serve as peacekeepers during elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Defence Minster Franz Josef Jung said.

Soldiers from Germany will be deployed in Congo from the July 30 election day for four months as part of a 1,500-strong European Union force backing up a 17,000-member United Nations peacekeeping mission in Congo.

Troops will only be based only in Congo's capital, Kinshasa, said Jung. Many of the German soldiers will be held as reserves in nearby Gabon, he said.

The main mission for German forces will be evacuation of election observers in case of violence, officials say.

Final approval for the mission still has to come from the German parliament, which is expected to vote on the deployment on June 1, Jung said.

Congo is holding its first free elections since the period immediately after winning independence from its former colonial power Belgium in 1960.

Jung underlined that Germany had a strong interest in "positive democratic developments" in Congo in part due to pressure posed by migrants coming from Africa to Europe.

DPA

Subject: German News

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