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South Africa to ”seriously consider” more troops for Darfur force

August 2, 2007 (PRETORIA) — South Africa will “seriously consider” sending more soldiers to Sudan as part of the new African Union-United Nations Peacekeeping force, Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad said on Thursday.

Peacekeepers.jpg“We will give very serious consideration, I hope, I’m sure positive consideration to increase our presence within the hybrid force,” Pahad said.

Just less than 600 SA National Defence Force soldiers and just over 100 SA Police Service officers were part of the current AU Mission in Sudan.

On Tuesday, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution to establish the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (Unamid). The force shall consist of 19,555 military personnel, and a civilian component including up to 3772 police personnel and 19 police units of up to 140 personnel each.

The command and control structures for the hybrid operation will be provided by the UN, but under an agreement with the Sudanese government the force must have a predominantly “African character.”

This means that offers from African troop and police contributing countries will be considered first.

(SAPA)

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