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Lusaka to send peacekeepers to Sudan

6/4/2005 8:20am

JOHANNESBURG, 1 Jun 2005 (IRIN) - Zambia is to send peacekeepers to Sudan by the end of June, according to official sources in the capital, Lusaka.

"We will send a company, which is about 180 to 200 soldiers," a defence official told IRIN.

The Zambian troops will be part of the UN Mission in Sudan, established after the UN Security Council passed a resolution on 24 March to send a 10,000-strong peacekeeping force to southern Sudan to monitor the January peace accord.

Zambian Defence Minister Wamundila Muliokela was this week quoted in the daily newspaper, Times of Zambia, as saying that as a UN member the country was obliged to ensure international peace and stability. "No negative allegations have been made against our soldiers, who have been going for peacekeeping missions in various parts of the world," he commented.

Apart from 20 observers as part of the AU mission in Sudan's western Darfur province at present, Zambia has participated in peacekeeping missions in various countries, including Mozambique, Rwanda, Angola and Sierra Leone.

The war between the southern-based Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army and the Sudanese government erupted in 1983, when rebels took up arms against the authorities based in the north to demand greater autonomy. The fighting killed at least 2 million people, uprooted 4 million more, and forced some 550,000 to flee to neighbouring countries.


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