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  Tuesday, September 17, 2019
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Russian peacekeeping force will begin operations in Sudan as part of the UN contingent there in late May
A Russian peacekeeping force will begin operations in Sudan as part of the UN contingent there in late May, a senior Air Force official said Tuesday. Maj. Gen. Viktor Ivanov, head of the Air Force Army Aviation Directorate, said 120 servicemen, four Mi-8 military transport helicopters, communications equipment, mobile power generators, and water purification systems would be sent to Sudan. "Under the plan, peacekeepers will begin to be airlifted [to Sudan] on April 20," Ivanov said, adding that the operation was due to be completed in late May. He said the servicemen would not be involved in combat missions, but would work as part of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS). A 21-year bloody civil war ended in Sudan after the Muslim-dominated north and Christians and animists in the south reached a peace deal in 2005. Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Monday that the cost of the operation will be borne by the UN, and that the Russian group will be rotated on a regular basis. On March 24, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1663 extending the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) until September 26, 2006. The Foreign Ministry said in late March that Russia would contribute a helicopter group and up to 200 servicemen to UNMIS, which currently includes 14 Russian military observers and 19 civilian police officers.
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