SUDAN WATCH: Russian peacekeepers to arrive in Sudan by end-April 2006

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Russian peacekeepers to arrive in Sudan by end-April 2006

As reported here a few months ago, Russian peacekeepers will go to Southern Sudan to take part in the UN-led peacekeeping operation in the country as part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CAP). Sudan Tribune 3 Mar 2006 reports the Russian air force will start airlifting Russian peacekeepers to Sudan in April, Army Gen Vladimir Mikhaylov, Russian air force commander-in-chief, told Interfax-Military News Agency 3 March. Excerpt:

"The advance task force will be taken to Sudan after 20 April," Mikhaylov said.

The task force will include representatives of all services who will prepare everything for accommodation of the main force, slated to be airlifted from 11 to 30 May.

The task force to be sent to Sudan from Russia will operate four Mi-8MTV helicopters, and 120 servicemen, fully armed and equipped. Also, over 100 tons of cargo and about 20 vehicles are to be airlifted.

Il-76, An-22 and An-124 Ruslan aircraft will make about 40 flights to airlift the task force with all required equipment and weapons, Mikhaylov said.

The Russian peacekeepers in Sudan will be a self-sustained force. Therefore, they will bring along all things required, including airfield equipment, engineering equipment, water purification and storage equipment and so on.

The airmen and technicians are now undergoing a training course in the 344th Torzhok army aviation training centre. The helicopters are being adjusted to meet UN requirements, Mikhaylov said.

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