Germany extends military mission to Sudan's Darfur

27th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

27 April 2007, Berlin (dpa) - The German parliament voted by an overwhelming majority Friday to extend the mandate for the country's military mission to Sudan's Darfur province by six months to mid-November. Bundestag members from all major parties spoke out against human rights abuses in the western province. Speakers noted a UN report that the Sudanese government had painted transport aircraft white to make them look like UN aircraft and flown weapons into the region, characterizing this as a "massive vi

27 April 2007

Berlin (dpa) - The German parliament voted by an overwhelming majority Friday to extend the mandate for the country's military mission to Sudan's Darfur province by six months to mid-November.

Bundestag members from all major parties spoke out against human rights abuses in the western province.

Speakers noted a UN report that the Sudanese government had painted transport aircraft white to make them look like UN aircraft and flown weapons into the region, characterizing this as a "massive violation of international law."

Gernot Erler, a junior minister in the Foreign Ministry, appealed to the rebel groups to participate in talks and called for a discussion involving groups throughout the vast country.

Up to 75 German troops participate in the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS). Currently 39 unarmed soldiers and five police officers are stationed there.

The measure was passed by 497 to 32 votes, with 23 abstentions. All parties other than the Left backed the measure.

Some 200,000 people have been killed in four years of conflict and 2.5 million displaced in the province, where government-backed rebels have been driving local villagers from their homes.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet agreed to extend the mandate in March. Parliament first approved sending the small troop contingent to Sudan in April 2005.

DPA

Subject: German news

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