Dutch MPs support extended Sudan mission
A wide majority of Dutch MPs supported an extension of the Dutch contribution to the UN peace mission in Sudan. Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party – which supports the minority VVD-CDA cabinet in parliament - was the only one to vote against.
The Dutch mission – which consists of 12 military observers, 15 police trainers and a number of staff officials - will stay in Sudan until mid October at the latest. The UN Security Council is expected to take a decision on a new, more civilian follow-up mission in Sudan at the end of May. During a debate in parliament, Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said the cabinet wants to make a contribution to this new mission as well.
The current Unmis mission has been monitoring a peace agreement between government forces and rebels since March 2005. The first Dutch soldiers to join the mission arrived in April 2006. At present, Unmis consists of 10,400 armed soldiers, 480 military observers and 640 police trainers, supported by a staff of 3,500 civilians.
The Freedom Party PVV voted against extending the missions because, according to PVV MP Louis Bontes,
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