Home | News    Wednesday 7 May 2008

South Korea mulling to join Darfur peacekeeping force

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May 6, 2008 (SEOUL) — South Korean government is closely studying the possibility of joining the peacekeeping operation in the war-torn region of Darfur, the Korea Herald reported today.

"We have decided to cautiously consider sending troops after thoroughly reviewing the situation in (Darfur) by sending one or two more teams to the site," a source told the Seoul based daily.

A Korean high level delegation consisted of the foreign and defence ministries paid a four-day visit to Darfur last month to assess the situation.

The Seoul government considers its involvement in the UN peacekeeping operations as a way to enhance Korea’s global recognition.
Currently South Korea is only part in the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, with 350 troops.

The current UN Secretary General, who is native from this country, requested the participation of his country in the world biggest peacekeeping operation in Darfur.

However the daily reported that Seoul final decision will be made after taking into consideration the public sentiment in the country also.

The United Nations-African Union hybrid peacekeeping operation is supposed to deploy 26000 troops in western Sudan. So far only 9000 are deployed on the ground for the time being

According to the UN latest estimation, at least 300,000 people have died from the combined effect of war and famine since the conflict started in February 2003. Other sources give a much higher toll, but Khartoum disputes all these figures.

(ST)

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