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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Peacekeepers Approved to Go to Sudan

President Vladimir Putin has signed a resolution on sending forces that would join a proposed UN peacekeeping operation in Sudan, the Kremlin said Thursday.

The resolution calls for Russia to send Interior Ministry units; the ministry has both police- and military-type units, and there was no immediate specification on what types of forces might be used.

Sudan's government and rebels in the south signed a peace deal on Jan. 9 to end the African nation's long-running civil war and set up a national power-sharing administration with an autonomous south.

The top UN envoy to Sudan said late last year that, if a peace agreement was reached, he expected the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution in the third week of January authorizing a wide-ranging UN peacekeeping and peace-building mission, hopefully with 9,000 to 10,000 troops. That has been delayed.

While the military recently announce plans for a new unit that would be fully dedicated to peacekeeping operations, Moscow has curtailed its participation in such operations abroad in the past few years, citing financial concerns. The final contingent of Russian forces left Kosovo in 2003 after four years of participation in peacekeeping operations in the Balkans. At the time, the only other nation outside the former Soviet Union where Russian peacekeepers were serving was Sierra Leone.