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    German soldiers enter a Transall C-160 cargo plane at the military airbase Penzing, 50 kilometers (28 miles) west of Munich, southern Germany, on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2004

    Germany Extends Involvement in UN Missions in Sudan, S. Sudan Until 2018

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    Bundeswehr's involvement in the United Nations–African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), and the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) will be extended until the end of 2017, maintaining a regular level of staff, up to 50 soldiers at each point, according to government spokesman Steffen Seibert.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — The German Cabinet has decided to extend the Bundeswehr's involvement in the United Nations–African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), and the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) until the end of 2017, government spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Wednesday.

    Earlier this week, an independent inquiry revealed that the UN peacekeeping mission had certain shortcomings in South Sudan, and failed to properly protect hundreds of civilians. Following the inquiry's publication, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki moon pledged to introduce additional measures to improve the mission and bolster its protection capabilities.

    "In both cases, the German part amounted largely to guiding and advising tasks, in both cases it will be extended until the end of 2017, maintaining a regular level of staff, up to 50 soldiers at each point," Seibert said.

    According to him, the Bundeswehr mission in Sudan would remain part of long-term efforts for "a lasting settlement of the conflict and stabilization of peace consolidation in the region."

    UNAMID was deployed to Sudan's western region of Darfur in 2007, which has been engaged in an armed conflict between rebel groups and the government of Sudan since 2003. The rebels accused authorities of oppressing Darfur's non-Arab population, to which the government initially responded by ethnic cleansing.

    South Sudan, which separated from Sudan in 2011, has been engaged in an armed ethnic conflict since 2013, when President Salva Kiir said that a military coup had been planned in the country, pointing the blame squarely at rebel leader Rijek Mashar. Apart from killing scores of people, the conflict has put the country on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.

    UNMISS was deployed to South Sudan in July 2011, initially for a year, but its deployment was later extended.

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    peacekeepers, UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Sudan, South Sudan, Germany
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