Putin signs order to send Russian peacekeepers to Sudan
Note, dozens of news reports currently covering this story make no mention of peacekeepers for Darfur. This news is probably about Russia's contribution to the 10,000 troops the UN is rallying for the monitoring of the South Sudan peace deal. It has been reported that deployment of the 10,000 troops for southern Sudan won't be completed for another six months.
Recently, Sudanese officials said they would only accept peacekeepers who spoke Arabic. Perhaps this order signed by Putin is to make Russia look good because it is blocking sanctions being imposed on Sudan.
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Cargo plane crashes in Sudan, seven killed
3 Feb Reuters report says a Sudanese cargo plane carrying aid to Darfur crashed near the capital Khartoum on Thursday Feb 3, killing all the crew.
The captain reported an emergency a few minutes before the Ilyushin-76 went off radar screens, Civil Aviation Authority director Abu Bakr Jaafar said. "He (the pilot) said there was something wrong with the fuel system ... A few minutes later it disappeared from the screens," he told Reuters. "Of course, it is too early to tell what is the cause," he added.
"This was a courageous move." Jaafar said at the scene where the Sudanese plane crashed east of the Nile River. "He changed his flight to move the plane out of the inhabited area." The aircraft went down about 800 metres from the residential district.
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Note, a Russian news report says the Russian embassy in Sudan is investigating the circumstances of the crash. Earlier it was reported that the plane's crew consisted of Russians, however, the embassy's representative has told RBC that so far, this information had not been confirmed. The officer said that the embassy was making every effort necessary to identify the crash victims.
Update Feb 3 Moscow News says six Russian citizens were killed in the cargo plane crash. The Russians were crewmembers. Their interpreter, a citizen of Sudan, was also killed.
The plane belonged to the private Sudanese company, Air West. It was flying from Sharjah, UAE, and was being used by the UN to carry humanitarian cargo. An official at the Russian embassy in Sudan is currently at the civilian aviation directorate investigating the cause of the crash, RIA Novosti reported. One of the preliminary reasons given was a lack of fuel.
Rescue workers carry a body wrapped in blankets from the wreckage of a Sudanese Ilyushin plane / Photo: AP