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    Russia set to rotate peacekeepers in Sudan

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    Russia's peacekeeping contingent in Sudan will be rotated on October 19-25

    MOSCOW, October 9 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's peacekeeping contingent in Sudan will be rotated on October 19-25, the Defense Ministry said on Friday.

    The Russian peacekeeping contingent in Sudan comprises 120 personnel and four Mi-8 helicopters equipped to UN and international standards.

    "The personnel and cargo will be transported by Il-76 military cargo planes," the ministry said in a statement.

    The first unit of Russian peacekeepers arrived in Sudan in April 2006. They are expected to stay in the country for up to six years with regular rotations.

    Rotations are held twice a year. The previous rotation took place in March.

    The contingent provides transport services for UN military observers in Sudan, including accompanying freight, and also carries out rescue operations.

    The UN Mission in Sudan was established in 2005 to monitor the peace agreement between the government in Khartoum and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement in southern Sudan, which ended the longest-running civil war in Africa.

    The UN presence in Sudan has since been expanded to include peacekeeping operations in Darfur. Since 2003, Chad and Sudan have accused each other of inciting conflict on their common border, which is along the west Sudanese region of Darfur.

    According to international estimates, more than 300,000 people have been killed and around 2.7 million displaced in the ongoing conflict in Darfur.


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