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Germany’s ruling coalition at odds over peacekeeping mission in Sudan

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HAMBURG, May 29, 2004 (Der Spiegel) — In the government coalition in Berlin a controversy is simmering over a potential military mission in Sudan. SPD Development Aid Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul and Greens Christa Nickels are calling for the deployment of an international peacekeeping force to the civil war-ravaged country in eastern Africa.

This is to prevent a genocide like the one in Rwanda 10 years ago. Nickels has in mind a 1,000-strong task force under a UN mandate - primarily provided by Arab states but with logistics and staff officers from Europe.

Party colleagues are interpreting two politicians’ urgings as a call for the Bundeswehr.

In contrast, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, and Defence Minister Peter Struck have agreed on saying that a German military operation is "not an issue" at present.

Nevertheless, there are signs of a German involvement in Sudan: a joint resolution by all parliamentary groups urges the Federal Government to support the monitoring of the peace process by the United Nations and "to consider a potential German contribution."

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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