German cabinet votes to extend army deployments to South Sudan, Sudan

The German cabinet voted on Wednesday to extend two military deployments to support UN peacekeeping efforts in Africa.

Ministers agreed to prolong Bundeswehr soldiers’ participation in the UN missions in South Sudan (UNMISS) and Sudan (UNAMID) beyond March 31.

Lawmakers in the Bundestag national parliament in Berlin are expected to vote on the extensions on March 12.

The UNAMID mission aims to protect civilians in Sudan while providing humanitarian aid and monitoring a ceasefire agreement in the western Darfur region.

The government plans to reduce the German contingent in Sudan from 50 to 20 soldiers after March 31. The mandate is only to be extended until December 31, 2020, pending negotiations at the United Nations on how to proceed with a follow-up mission.

German soldiers in South Sudan are to stay for another year after the UNMISS mission expires at the end of March. The number of deployed soldiers is to remain at 50.

The South Sudan mission aims to prop up a fragile peace process after the country’s founding in 2011 was followed by a civil war that killed tens of thousands.

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